Doomed – 6 Anti-Odes to Life (2018) REVIEW

Standard as the melodic death/doom metal of Pierre Laube‘s Doomed may appear across six full-lengths his take on the style is always immaculately recorded and conceived. The initial appeal to my tastes involved some lead guitar work reminiscent of October Tide atop death/doom similar to November’s Doom with a general avoidance of clean or ‘gothic’ vocal affect. Possessing some moderate love for the spectrum of death/doom that verges on funeral doom and early efforts from Anathema, Morgion and Mourning Beloveth I found the first four Doomed releases incredibly consistent in their cautious and heavy progression. Laube‘s intentions grew increasingly progressive up to a peak on ‘Wrath Monolith’ where dissonance, pure death metal, and post-metal helped to differentiate his sound. In many ways it seems ‘6 Anti-Odes to Life’ is an intentional return to the heart of the project, a rescension of building excesses and complexities in favor of Laube‘s intended catharsis.

Doom as a feeling is described as anxiety aimed at upcoming death or tragedy and this is the horror of it, the wait as doom crawls towards you very real and inevitable. There was a great hope and well-meaning message behind 2016’s ‘Anna’, where Laube crafted a concept album in opposition to the fanaticism that continues to drive humanity to it’s end. Here in 2018 it seems that vision hasn’t dissolved so much as it has blurred beneath waves of depressive thought and there is no better inspiration for the style of melodic death/doom that Doomed have become known for. The result is an album that tends towards it’s earliest influences with some slight post-metal experimentation throughout. Though the intention was to pull away from the complex progressive metal tendencies of the previous two releases ‘6 Anti-Odes to Life’ is really just a different mood applied to that style of composition.

To suggest the aggression of ‘Wrath Monolith’ is entirely gone would be wrong but a good comparison would be October Tide‘s ‘A Thin Shell’ and November’s Doom ‘Aphotic’ in terms of use of clean vocals and some gentler moments where what drives songs is less riffs and more movements. Doomed haven’t softened but definitely tap into something more defeated and melodious compared to previous releases and that’ll likely be polarizing to some and unnoticeable to others. I found most of ‘6 Anti-Odes to Life’ full of feeling but very dryly composed and lacking in the near-genius guitar moments found on ‘Wrath Monolith’. I’m sure there is a middle ground where melody and clever guitar work intersect, as it is a staple of melodic death/doom, but I don’t think Laube has necessarily found it on this sixth iteration.

With many pros and cons to weigh I found my time spent with ‘6 Anti-Odes to Life’ milquetoast in general. No great melodies or impossibly heavy riffs tore me in one direction or the other and the experience was simply average. That shouldn’t take away from the sharp production, the strong lead guitar work, and Laube‘s monstrous growling vocals as Doomed still perform and produce at a high standard. Though not a modern day classic in it’s own right this sixth album deserves some praise for doing something different than previous, whether or not that shift in style was bold or particularly exciting. The entire Doomed discography is well worth a listen if you’re a melodic death/doom fan.

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Artist Doomed
Type Album
Released June 22, 2018
BUY/LISTEN on Doomed’s Bandcamp!

BUY from Solitude Productions [CD/Digipack]

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Genres
Melodic Death Doom Metal

 This great illusion. 3.0/5.0

 

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