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Dire Fate : Dire Fate / Rote Mare (Split)

Two interesting Sabbathian bands share this split album. On the whole, Rote Mare wins out over Dire Fate.

Split albums are always a tricky thing to review, mostly because half the time you'll end up with just half an interesting album. Of course, a lot of things can explain split albums : a way for a label to show two new promising bands cheaply, some friendship between the bands, some musical connections, and so on.

Dire Fate open the album with one instrumental intro reminding me of Apostle Of Solitude, and two tracks following the Sabbathian traditionalism so prevalent in the Doom scene these days. Actually, it's more a 'Reverendish' traditionalism this time: 'Satanic Eclipse' really sounds like an outtake from the 'In The Rectory' sessions, with some over-the-top vocals that are the proverbial icing on the cake. The other song, 'Salvation Through Pessimism', is more along the lines of some melodic and very NWOBHM-influenced Heavy Doom (the solos are worthy of the best that England offered us between 1979 and 1986), while never forgetting to stay firmly rooted in some of the more modern takes on the genre. As with 'Satanic Eclipse', it's the vocals that steal the show, bringing an eerie atmosphere to a song that was already creepy enough.

Rote Mare's part continues all of the good things I have thought about this band since the release of their excellent Serpents Of The Church album. We're still dealing with some melodic-yet-heavy Doom here, but more in the US mould. 'Sinking Ships' is a short song by Rote Mare standards, clocking in at just around 3 minutes and sounding a bit like Orodruin, albeit with some darker overtones. In fact - and the title of the song pretty much points to this - 'Sinking Ships' has a kind of gothic feeling to it. And I'm not talking about that Evanescence shit, but more like a soundtrack to some of the best William Hope Hodgson tales (read The Thing In The Weeds and you'll understand what I mean). Here, Phil Howlett's voice abandons the over-the-top theatrical effects found on Rote Mare and takes on a more mourning, desperate style which somewhat reminded me of Robert Smith in the days of 'Pornography' and 'Faith'. This short piece is followed by what is the best track of the release: the epic, 15-minute long 'The Hour Of Doom'. The title in itself says it all: this is truly a descent into the deepest reaches of Doom Metal. Never boring, always showcasing some good ideas and the vocals are, once again, incredibly expressive in the first 2,30 minutes.

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Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. DIRE FATE - Evil Ascending
2. DIRE FATE - Satanic Eclipse
3. DIRE FATE - Salvation Through Pessimism
4. ROTE MARE - Sinking Ships
5. ROTE MARE - The Hour Of Doom

Duration : Approx. 38 minutes

Visit the Dire Fate bandpage.

Reviewed on 2013-04-08 by Laurent Lignon
Rotten Copper
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