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Death Has Spoken : Fade

Death Has Spoken have obviously listened to the pioneers of the genre but fall short of the expectations left by them.

Death Has Spoken are relative newcomers to the scene, having both formed and released this debut the very same year (2017).They have delivered us a tidy little album of death/doom. Their brand of slow churning chords and arpeggios create a brisk walk through familiar grounds creating something akin to the old doomy classics of yore but never end up exerting the same passion or creativity of their predecessors. This is ultimately the undoing of 'Fade'.

I'd describe this whole record as rushed. The band is struggling to find an identity and clearly needs to develop their songs more. Immediately during the opening minutes of 'Fade' I knew what to expect. The band clearly has listened to early pioneers like Katatonia and have learned their lesson from them, but within such admiration lies the problem. The songs never take any chances at all with each one following nearly the same sort of formula with the occasional riff or lead section to break things up. It`s very obvious that this was recorded the same year as conception since most of the songs feel very bare-bones with them screaming to be worked on some more.

Even the tempos feel samey with each song just trudging along at the same kinda low mid-tempo pace. I'm not opposed to an entire record crawling by but some variation would have really spiced this up. It's like after the first few minutes of a tune you've heard the rest of it with no surprises being offered up and because the majority of the record is based on arpeggios and chord progressions rather than full blown riffs or melody there isn't much in the way of building into something bigger either.

I do really like the progression presented in 'To The Darkness Of The North' with it being sort of a culmination of the previous entries. A bit more biting than what came before, and with more happening within the song structure, this is the clear winner on the album. It just sounds so much more fleshed out and complete than the rest of the album with a nice progression, break and even a full blown groove before breaking back into the original progression. Nice! More of that please! This is much more in line with what they should be doing!

Production-wise, this is very lackluster as well with everything sounding clean but rarely sounding powerful. There`s just no bite or size to the guitars with even the bass just kinda sitting there… Its nice sounding but very ho-hum, though I suppose this could be forgiven considering its a independent release but the sound overall could use… just something… or anything to give it some character. Even the vocals sound nice with very little character added… And that`s ultimately the problem with 'Fade'. It just lacks character and development. It`s as if they just got together listened to some old Doom/Death and pounded out a couple ideas and off they went.

'Fade' proves that Death Has Spoken has potential in the way that everything is pleasant enough and nothing really stands out as overwhelmingly bad, but they really need to add some flavor to the formula or they will get lost in a sea of doom. They really need to work on creating an identity for themselves if they are to continue. Lets hope they decide to expand on the basics and really dig into something or else they risk just… well… fading away.

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Reviewer's rating: 5/10


Tracklist :
1. Fade
2. Respite From Tears
3. If The Light Never Comes
4. Price Of Salvation
5. Sullen Dawn
6. To The Darkness Of The North

Duration : Approx. 35 minutes

Visit the Death Has Spoken bandpage.

Reviewed on 2018-02-25 by Eli Elliott
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