Album of the Month

Accomplished and captivating melodic Death/Doom is the hallmark of Vanha's sophomore full-length.
(Read more)

Featured debut

Random band

Dark, twisted band with an unusual, experimental sound similar to that of Esoteric, but with more emphasis on dark industrial elements and unique vocals ...
(read more)

Litany : Pyres Of Lamentation

Litany have meticulously crafted a volume of Epic Doom riffs that are sure to please fans of the style.

Let me start out by saying I had not actually heard of Litany before receiving this gem to review and after the 67 minutes of 'Pyres Of Lamentation' I had been shown the error of my ignorance!There's just so many tasty riffs that I've been missing out on! Litany play a style of Epic Doom metal that is very much in the veins of greats like Solitude Aeturnus but what sets them apart is the occasional divergence into, dare I say, somewhat progressive territory. Don't let that scare any of you purists away though, let me explain!

First off let me clarify the Prog statement, I don't mean you'll be siphoning through myriads of odd time signatures, clean interludes, and short motive introductions to get a grip on what they're going for but rather taking the time to craft rhythms that actually play off each of the guitars or letting the bass carry the rhythms while the cleans provide atmosphere and just plain intricate arrangements. Make no mistake though this is firmly metal and the band isn't messing around. Another thing that is immediately apparent in the opening minutes too is they aren't afraid to borrow a trope or two to get things started but they quickly start twisting them so things are far from stale.

I mentioned Solitude Aeturnus earlier and you know how they had a penchant for just going full riffage occasionally? Well these guys obviously love themselves some riffs! If the churning opening of 'Firewaters' wasn't enough to convince you then maybe the excellent harmonized riff in 'Psykhe' will. If it doesn't then maybe the new Katy Perry is more up your alley? Tempo's aren't strictly doom however so the occasional speedy riff might scare some of the slower fans out there if they aren't careful. Actually, tempo changes abound often in single songs to really break things up and let the songs flow while still providing some diversity.Generally though its a brisk mid-tempo with the occasional slower part. By the way, these guys know how to actually solo too so beware the air guitar assault!

On the actual production side of things, things are nearly perfect. Nearly. The instruments are crystal clear and heavy while simultaneously letting the bass come out occasionally despite the barrage of heavy riffage that you're being served. It does come with somewhat of a price though as sometimes the vocals seem to be a little bit too pushed back. Like it seems like the mixing was a tad inconsistent or was just sacrificed to make the constant flow of metal goodness a tad larger sounding. Because of this the vocals may take a tad bit of time to get used to but its a tiny complaint in the grand theme of things. Actually while I'm on the vocals, they are very much in the vein of bands like Doomsword and other viking inspired bands. In fact my initial impressions were they must be doing viking themes until I read the,very well written and diverse, lyrics. Do yourself a favor and read the lyrics before or during the initial listen. It's just somewhat of a pity that the production doesn't really let the vocals soar in certain sections.

As far as performance goes its obvious that these guys have been together for a while (18 years) as everything is pushing and pulsing together in near perfect sync. No small feet considering how busy much of the music is. The band plays off each other rhythmically exceedingly well with the vocals providing the gel that really makes the riffs impress. Playing off each other is definitely the mark of great musicians and it surely adds a ton of life to the recording. In a genre like metal where things can get really sterile in a hurry it's refreshing to hear a band write such diverse arrangements where each of the instruments get to not only impress but add to each individual part.

I can't say enough good things about this release really and the only deterrent is that the vocals may be off putting for some. Some extra production on them would of helped for sure and I can't help that oftentimes a effective vocal line is weakened by where it's sitting in the mix. Otherwise though these guys have schooled me in their brand of Epic Doom metal. Do yourself a favor and check this one out.

Click HERE to discuss this review on the doom-metal forum.

Reviewer's rating: 8/10


Tracklist :
1. Niobe
2. Firewaters
3. Rites Of Passage
4. Psykhe
5. Abjuration
6. Velerefontis
7. The Curse
8. The Lowest Form Of Evil Subtlety
9. Furies
10. Infinite
11. Spaces

Duration : Approx. 68 minutes

Visit the Litany bandpage.

Reviewed on 2018-02-25 by Eli Elliott
Advertise your band, label or distro on doom-metal.com