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Estrangement : Belong Beneath

Anyone with a taste - or a curiosity- for quirky Doom should give Enstrangement's first demo a listen.

As a site dedicated to all forms of Doom Metal, one could see the website, any music website as a matter of fact, as a post-office box gathering a peculiar type of agony column: "Serious album seeking loving review". More often than not, the serious album is sadly dismissed and has to retreat with his tail between his legs. But, amid the abundance of diverse and varied styles that characterise the bunch of promos that we receive – these being more or less polished, more or less sophisticated and well crafted - it may happen that, in the middle of the procession of cds going from the coffee table to the stereo, in the middle of a tiring consistency of tone, an album stands out at last. You spin it after the others without expecting anything, with dull eyes and ringing ears, and here comes a singularity that lifts your torpor. 'Belong Beneath' by Estrangement is one of these albums: a short demo of a budding group that boldly displays its ambitions to bring about some changes, and violently if you please - it's written out in the promotional sheet ("The music of Estrangement revolves around a haunting Funeral Doom core from where sudden and violent atmospheric changes emerge").

Still, the album does also feature a healthy dose of classic Death Doom: cavernous growls, somber and relentless riffs, darkly romantic cello and deep organ chords to add some extra spiritual dimension. Considering the object with enough hindsight, I personally see one particular aspect of Estrangement's music that would drag the band in a somewhat "other" dimension, this is the drummer playing: he is really laconic and yet very efficient: he resorts to rather sharp patterns, creating a rhythmic that is both bleak and rough; it then serves as a foundation to launch - along three tracks that are following each other without noticeable gaps - increasingly wild attacks, aggressive in their thirst for eccentricity. Furious solos, long bleak shreds of cello lines, drooling growls, deliquescent organ, doddery piano and last but not least thrashy drumming build a bizarre and ill-fitting architecture and it leaves an impression of poisonous unease which contrasts with the usual production. These unexpected shifts bear also a kind of intellectualism which will perhaps not be to everyone's taste; it certainly demands an open mind to follow the uncertain way of the band.

For this effort - which combines the Gothic perversity of My Dying Bride, the liturgical Doom of Skepticism and the strangeness of… there I'm a little short, but names like Pan.Thy.Monium, Doom Snake Cult and Opaque Lucidity (minus the ambient side) should give you a hint of the the kind of quirky Doom we dealing with - I applaud whole-heartedly, although it still appears a bit shy of the mark, and look forward to the realization of the ideas that are brewing here - and I also suggest that next time they'd be supported by a production worthy of the name.

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Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Disentanglement (of sound from mind)
2. Interlude
3. Infinitesimal Spark

Duration : Approx. 21 minutes

Visit the Estrangement bandpage.

Reviewed on 2013-06-12 by Bertrand Marchal
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