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The Knell : Harm

Almost five years after the release of their 'Winter Shade' demo, The Knell treats us on a solid slab of Israelian doomdeathmetal. The album consists of the three tracks which were featured on the 2002 demo, completed with four new tracks. A very deep doomdeath sound, a semi-acoustic intro here and there, a touch of keyboard and a nicely performed multi-layered growl (Thergothon-esque at times) add up to the expected, familiar doom, reminding of the glory of the starting days of bands like Anathema or Paradise Lost. A second kind of influence might be heard in the sludgy way of playing, catching similarities of Evoken or Worship here and there. It must be recognized as a nice achievement of the band to combine the melody and the heaviness into a blend of doom that sounds new nor old, thereby creating a space of its own.

The Knell plays slow, as is appropriate for doomdeath. The working out of many musical ideas, walking off on tangents towards all edges and corners of the genre, leads to the construction of varied and lengthy song, ending with a respectable average of seven and a half minutes per track. Let this be a warning for those of you who have difficulties to digest the works of this genre; for the others however, The Knell offers a fresh take on and between explored territories and brings a release that stands strong for a 2007 release.

Strong points of the album are the relentless obedience to slowness, the dual guitar melodies and the vocal range. Vocalist Noam spits out his guts the full way, dual layers add massive depth to the sound of the vocals and some small voice distortions add a welcome touch of experimentation to the album. As a weakness, it must be said that the overal sound of the album can be compared to the sound you would get from standing outside a big venue in which a band is playing – with the doors closed. In the resulting mush, it is sometimes hard to distinguish anything at all.

As a basis for a very decent doomdeath album, 70 points are well deserve. Ten bonus points are appointed for making a doom album in a country where one would rather expect to hear psalms, religious chanting and the noise of exploding suicide bombers. Another five bonus points I add for The Knell's achieval of making something that doesn’t sound like a direct copy of another band. And five more because I’m in a good day, hearing a decent newly released doom album for the first time in a long while. Ten points I take off for a totally missed chance with the sound, and another one because of the poor band picture in the booklet (guys, where are you looking to? And more importantly: what are you trying to look like?). The result is: 79

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Black Veil (and Promise)
2. Idem
3. Angel Sobbing
4. Jerusalem Frost
5. Encounter of Flames
6. Harm
7. Winter Shade

Duration : Approx. 52 minutes

Visit the The Knell bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-2007 by Arnstein H. Pettersen
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