Written by Mass
- Rien ne Devait Mourir
- Atmospheric Doom Metal
- February 14th, 2020
- Highlights: A Romance of Thorns – Que les lueurs se dispersant – Dreams (Along the Trail) – Drowned Divine
- Rating: 9.3
A Romance of Thorns
The French band Angellore’s third studio album was released a few days ago and once again, I was fascinated by the minimal artwork and the term “atmospheric doom metal”. I assume I have a soft spot for the word “atmospheric” and I am a sucker for anything labeled that!
What a treasure this album is! From the opening notes till the concluding ones, melancholy wells up in this album. Tinges of classical music here and there combined with heavy dark riffs give the listener a sense of mixed desolation. All the instruments present have been utilized to serve the auditory purpose of this album; drumming is fierce where it should be and restrained wherever necessary, guitar riffs are crushing where music soars and touching where it is intended, and so are guitar solos. The vocals, both male and female which come in various styles, clean, growls, operatic, you name it, are otherworldly and so befitting and congruous in the context of the music that the audience is left speechless.
Songs are also varied in structure. Take A Romance of Thorns as a microcosm for the whole album. It is a 20-minute journey which kicks the album open and gives an essential glance into the remaining 41 minutes while being self-sufficient at the same time. Dreams (Along the Trail) is a more folk-influenced piece with an emphasis on the atmospheric side of the band. Drowned Divine delves further down in the depths of Angellore’s doom sphere and Blood for Lavinia, which could be regarded as kind of an odd-one-out piece in this treasure chest, blends in elements of gothic doom to create the sound similar to that of Type O Negative. Then the instrumental Sur les Sentiers de Lune follows, a 5-minte-40-second showroom of the band’s musical and melody-making skills. Rien ne Devait Mourir comes to a close much in the same vain as it opened: a long, episodic voyage called Que les lueurs se dispersant which reflects the whole structure of this album, diverse, emotionally-charged and musically proficient.
I am normally reserved when it comes to lengthy tracks; I prefer to have a more manageable timing of songs, otherwise I get lost somewhere and can’t pull myself till the end. These three songs of more than 11 minutes, however, nailed me to my chair and lured me to the very last second – a rare occasion indeed.
Songs are mainly sung in English, with Que les Lueurs se Dispersent (which translates as Let the lights disperse, if I am not mistaken) being an exception and sung in French, and they deal with such issues as loss, grief, sorrow and other similar motifs. The words paint a barren existence of a “derelict soul in a cursed body” who is “lost in a lightless, desolate place, left alone dreaming” so eye-catchingly that screams of pain can be heard not just through the singing but also through the larynx of words.
Overall, I am once more satisfied with my instincts to go with my gut feeling when it comes to discovering new bands and giving them a try. I have listened to this album for more than 3 hours nonstop and I still yearn for more (if only I weren’t pushed to my human limits by sleepiness). This album surely goes to the top of my list of best albums of 2020 so far.
- Lyrics: 9.0
- Artwork: 8.5
- Musicianship: 9.5
- Vocals: 10