Etched Side D!
Classic Funeral Doom back on vinyl!
Shape of Despair have always been a band that have suffered from mis-labelling. I've always heard them referred to as Funeral Doom. Now, when we think of Funeral Doom the first bands that come to mind are bands like Worship, Thergothon and Skepticism.
All of these bands, and all the Funeral Doom bands we are aware of, are endowed with a heavy sense of nihilism to their music and/or lyrics.
Shape of Despair's music, while slow lacks the inherent nihilism of Funeral Doom. Their use of keyboards, flutes, clean and female vocals all contradict this. Which brings us to their album, "Illusion's Play". This album is similar to their previous effort, "Angel of Distress". The Keyboards carry the bulk of the melody, the guitars relegated mainly (though not always) to the background and the drumming is kept basic. The vocals alternate between death grunts and clean vocals (both male and female).
Much like "Angel of Distress", one track flows into another seamlessly and the album is best taken into account as a cohesive whole, rather than a series of
separate songs. The keyboards are really what made "Angel of Distress" and also this album stand-out.
They help convey a truly ethereal atmosphere that cannot readily compare to any band. Its like floating among the clouds on a cold, wintery night.
This is a great album to just let yourself drift away to. Summary: if you're looking for an album of very sad and atmospheric doom metal, this is a very good choice. The band conveys the feelings of sadness, despair and loss, and there's nothing you can do to stop them from afflicting you.
For fans of: Evoken, Saturnus, My Dying Bride, Draconian