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Comatose Vigil A.K. : Evangelium Nihil

Comatose Vigil A.K.'s debut album comes with a surprising number of flaws, considering its pedigree.

This is the full-length debut of Russia's Comatose Vigil A. K. Part of this band is formerly Comatose Vigil (A. K. iEzor) but there's a couple of new international members, hence the new band name, Comatose Vigil A. K.. Although a debut release, it's safe to say that this band has got plenty of experience from its various members so a more mature production is what I expected from 'Evangelium Nihil'.

That wasn't the initial impression I had, though. Indeed, the introduction to this album made me a bit edgy. I like keys - when utilised properly - but an excessive amount of them in an almost crude fashion tends to make me think that the band in question is going to annoy me on the current musical adventure. Now, I don't think it's fair to say that Comatose Vigil A. K. annoyed me on 'Evangelium Nihil', but I do think it's fair to say that it's not a release that is going to stick with me for years to come.

There's no such thing as unique Funeral Doom nowadays - let's be quite clear about that here. I can't credibly accuse the band of lacking innovation on that front. However, even within the limited, over-saturated, niche sub-genre of Funeral Doom, I don't think they've done enough to make themselves stand out.

When playing music like this, I think you've got to clearly outline which type of Funeral Doom you're going to play. If you're going for a more haunting approach then I'd say that keys are a necessity, as is the snail's pace music with powerful vocals and crashing guitars. If you're going for a more beautiful, emotional approach then some clean vocals would be beneficial, as well as some strings and softer melodies. Based on the above, I'd have to assess that Comatose Vigil A. K. have opted for the former.

Now, the problem with Comatose Vigil A. K. opting to play a more haunting approach to Funeral Doom is that they've done it in a pretty ham-handed manner. Firstly, they've adopted what I'd playfully dub as "Abruptum fuzz" in the background for most of their tracks. I get it - that makes the music rawer when used correctly. The problem is that they don't build upon that. I don't think the vocalist is strong enough to enhance such an approach, and the vocals are often a bit too low in the mix for my liking as a result of such.

Secondly, I don't think that these songs are structured particularly well. Again, I think keys are pretty much a necessity nowadays but it's as if they're there purely for the ride on 'Evangelium Nihil'. In other words, I don't understand what direction they're supposed to be shepherding the music in because the songs never really seem to go anywhere. For a supposedly haunting Funeral Doom release, there's a remarkable lack of drama in this music. In all honesty, the word I would use to describe the approach of Comatose Vigil A. K. on this release is 'tame'.

Thirdly, I find the release a bit too plain for me. I'm a big Funeral Doom fan. I've not happened to chance across this release by accident as a huge Traditional Doom fan, for example, and suddenly decided that this style of Doom is terrible to listen to due to the contrasting styles between the sub-genres. The sub-genre of Funeral Doom is one of my favourites to listen to so I'd like to think I'm at least a reasonable judge of what's good and what isn't in this field by now. I don't mind a minimalistic approach in Funeral Doom as long as it goes somewhere, which Comatose Vigil A. K.'s music doesn't. I don't mind Funeral Doom going in other directions as long as there's some kind of discernable path - which there isn't. Bluntly put, I'm pretty broad-minded here and I still think the band have produced a very tame offering here with very little to no noteworthy tracks.

Unfortunately, I'm afraid that I can't comment on how the physical album looks/feels because I don't have it; I am reviewing a download. The overall mark may have gone up or down depending upon it but I've had to exclude that side of things for this review.

To summarise, I would say that Comatose Vigil A. K. have got a lot wrong on this release. They started it off too dramatically, setting the tone for the album incorrectly, as the rest of it really isn't all that dramatic. I think the production is a bit below-par. I think that the songs don't really have a direction nor an end to them. I think that the keys are used sporadically/as a token gesture rather than to shepherd the music or even change the pace. I think that the vocals are too low in the mix so they either need a better vocalist or to lose the "Abruptum fuzz". There's nothing on this list that cannot be fixed but for a band with so many experienced members, I am disappointed with what I have heard. I found this to be a very bland and uninteresting album, and their attempts to make it sound edgy did nothing for me.

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Reviewer's rating: 4.5/10


Tracklist :
1. Evangelium Nihil
2. Comatose Vigil
3. Deus Sterilis
4. The Day Heaven Fell

Duration : Approx. 61 minutes

Visit the Comatose Vigil A.K. bandpage.

Reviewed on 2019-01-05 by Ian Morrissey
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