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As Divine Grace : Lumo

When I first heard this band all the way back when the album was released in 1997 I must admit I was anything but impressed with them. As Divine Grace were one of the earlier bands to soften up their doom-metal and add an ethereal sounding classically trained female vocalist. Just before the gothic-metal movement broke through and saturated the market, As Divine Grace had already experimented heavily with many elements we now associate with Gothic-metal.

People who know me also know I am not a huge fan of Gothic-metal. Combined with my earlier dislike of this release that normally would not spell much good for a review such as this. But I must admit that over the years this release has grown on me. I also would not consider As Divine Grace part of the Gothic-metal movement, but rather an atmospheric doom-metal (in the vein of The 3rd and the Mortal). This is mostly due to the actual music itself; it is slow, melancholic and downtrodden and not, like gothic-metal, bombastic and in its own way upbeat.

Soprano Hanna Kalske clearly steals the show. Her ethereal vocals resonate throughout every corner of the album. Combined with the slow and sombre guitar playing and (abeit somewhat playful) atmospheric keyboard, the album simply breathes an atmosphere of melancholy and despair. Soft romantic doom for those who prefer to simply fade away in sadness or wallow in pleasant misery.

'Lumo' is perfect music to bring out some of the clichés of a romantic evening with your girl- or boyfriend, sipping blood red wine with only a few candles burning. Soft and cosy, yet melancholic and downtrodden at the same time. This is one of the albums that actually set the clichés.

Sadly, despite the almost plague-like growth of gothic-metal bands over the recent years few have actually ever been able to match As Divine Grace's 'Lumo'. Atmospheric Doom as a whole seems limited to just a few rare bands which followed in The 3rd and the Mortal's wake. As such this is one of the most essential releases within this tiny sub-branch of the doom-metal family. I think this will interest any romantic doom fan or actually gothic-metal fan if only for "historical reasons".

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Perpetual
2. In Low Spirits
3. Gash
4. Grimstone
5. The Bloomsearcher
6. Rosy Tale
7. Out Of The Azure
8. Wave Theory

Duration : Approx. 60 minutes

Visit the As Divine Grace bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Aldo Quispel
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