Göden - Beyond Darkness

Göden’s doom laden debut, “Beyond Darkness,” takes a genre of cliché beauty and beast vocals mixed with epic tracks of mournful guitar that are lead by a funeral procession of sad sounding keyboards and tries to bring something fresh by turning some of those cliché ideas in doom on their head while still retaining a core sound that is truly ‘doomy.’ Opening with ‘Glowing Red Sun’ the group takes listeners on a long instrumental ride, complete with drawn out buzzing guitar passages followed by plodding drums and keyboards that serve as support for the guitars and sometimes just dark passages that bring out the whole despair level of the genre. They are more funeral orchestrated versus the clean melodious piano passages that some doom bands use like Draconian, so the atmosphere is extra weighty. As the album carries on one is presented tracks in various for of being short, spoken pieces of ‘Manifestations’ that tell a story or intro to the following track about the entity “Goden” in eight pieces that serve as interludes between the longer ones. Most of the tracks here don’t outclock the opener so the way Göden serve things up is done in a smart, chapter like way so listeners can enjoy the music in chunks versus being overwhelmed as some doom groups like to use long tracks with a short number of them. Göden does the opposite. Most tracks on the album end up being seven minutes or shorter.

As far as musical style, “Beyond Darkness” can be compared to that of a more stripped down, early career My Dying Bride with some funeral doom tinges of a group like Helllight. The group does a great job at keeping a simple rhythm on tracks like ‘Twilight’ or ‘ Komm Susser Tod’ while using the keyboards to support. They act as a great haunting backdrop but what really carries the music is the vocals. Surprisingly enough, their female vocalist can snarl her way through a track like ‘Genesis Rise’ and also use moody, spoken word passages such as on ‘Komm..’ that are just as frightening. It isn’t a technique that is amazing or as breakthrough as someone like Otep did back on her debut in 2000, but it works for the doom atmosphere very well and is done in a style that not many doom bands use. Usually female vocals in doom are expected to be supporting, but Göden’s vocalist uses the harsh and semi-harsh vocals very well to break that stereotype. On tracks like ‘Dark Nebula’ she can bellow as well as some of the better growlers out there.

Instrumental-wise Göden do tend to stick to ‘long drawn out riffs’ backed by keyboards and plodding drums while the vocals tell their story on the longer tracks. The opening track pretty much gives listeners what they are in for, so those who don’t like their music too simplistic and want more fleshed out, atmospheric doom may want to look elsewhere. True, Göden don’t use too much variety instrumentally, but they do try to vary things by pace and musical tone. ‘Cosmic Blood’ has a much thicker sound to it that takes away from the feeling that some of the riffs may feel repeated and even though everything except the vocals get swallowed up, it stands out as one of the more memorable tracks. ‘Night’ features some excellent keyboard tones amongst the rasping and overall a very murky, funeral doom pace that showcases more than just basic doom. ‘Thundering Silence’ is the only track that seems out of place as a drone doom piece with tons of atmosphere with buzzing and quiet notes but after such a loud procession of tunes it is most welcome, and even desired as it enhances the gloomy side of the band. Ultimately, those looking for doom that is digestible and a few steps away from some of the more overused elements would do well to check out "Beyond Darkness” as it tells an interesting story with a great musical backdrop to support it.

4 / 5 STARS 


1. Glowing Red Sun
2. Manifestation I - Tolling Death Bells
3. Twilight
4. Manifestation II - A New Order
5. Cosmic Blood
6. Manifestation II - The Spawn Of Malevolence
7. Komm Susser Tod
8. Genesis Rise
9. Manifestation IV - The Progeny Of Goden
10. Dark Nebula
11. Manifestation V - The Epoch Of Goden
12. I Am Immortal
13. Manifestation VI - The Beginning And The End
14. Ego Eimie Gy
15. Manifestation VII - Gaia Rejuvenated
16. Night
17. Manifestation VIII - A New Age
18. Thundering Silence
19. Winter