Deep Desolation - Subliminal Visions

Deep Desolation bring forth an atmosphere of pain and darkness with their debut album, 'Subliminal Visions,' and with just the right mix of doom and black metal, it does justice to both the genre and listener. If Darkthrone decided to go a doom metal route instead of punk, then this would be the result: slow, fuzzy, and ugly but with a certain amount of groove to keep the entertainment coming. Tracks like "Christ's Incest" are ugly both in sound and lyrics, and with the guitar distortion that sounds almost like buzzing flies, incites enough blasphemy that would make the devil proud himself. The vocals switch between the typical black metal shriek (such as with "Mass Murderer's Ejaculation") and the angst driven moan/ snarl thaat populates a track like "Christ's Incest." The music is very simple for the most part- three riffs played repeatedly over and over with the bass lost in the mix with the drums slowly beating along. It seems like child's play, but it seems to work well as long as the groove is involved.

The epic tracks are where a bit more complexity and skill is involved. "Subliminal Visions" does a great job at mixing black metal with groove metal and doesn't drone on as repetitively as some of the other tracks. There is even a few solos wedged within the muddle of music that is presented. Still, the atmosphere as a whole is dark, dooming, and depressive, so it doesn't feel like a total black sheep compared to the other tracks. The other epic, "Everlasting War," embraces the doom side and turns up the distortion a bit, making for a very echoing, crushing track that still has lots of groove and melody, but almost feels like a demo track due to the musical quality. The vocals seem buried in the mix and aren't heard as clearly as on some of the other tracks. At the same time, the band makes everything a bit more hypnotic such as using eerie choir samples and a constant haze through the music as a whole, so each solid pounding drum can still cut through like a knife against all the guitar work.

Obviously, on a scale of depressive black metal, this falls somewhere between being hypnotically annoying, like Xasthur, and progressively ugly, like Leviathan (two greats of the genre). But, on its own, Deep Desolation keep to a more dooming tradition, and the amount of groove involved is a great way to grab attention rather than desolate keyboards or switching between sheer, aggressive guitar work and then more ambient sections. In fact, the last track on this album could be considered progressive black metal in the vein of Deathspell Omega with its crushing yet admirable avant-garde sections, which overall, leaves for the makings of quite a frightening opus for anyone who dares listen to it.

  1. Call Of The Abyss
  2. Murderous Lust
  3. Mass Murderer's Ejaculation
  4. Subliminal Visions
  5. Christ's Incest
  6. Infernal Hallucinations
  7. In A Mouth Of Madness
  8. Everlasting War

Reviewer: Colin McNamara
Mar 18, 2011
Next review: Catacombe - Kinetic

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