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Reclusiam : Reclusiam

This self-titled masterpiece by Reclusiam is for anyone who digs truly sad and mournful dirge-like doom.

Doomanity! Gather together, brothers, and get aboard the doomed ship Reclusiam! Ride into infinity, into a foreign universe – watch as tears pour from your cadaverous skull and disappear into the lonely vacuum of "the tunnel of stars" as you finally crash land in the miserable fields of a wretched war and find you never left the hell called Earth, "where shadows writhe", and "rust creeps heavenward along the spines of earth".

Reclusiam is the one-man band of Necare's Ryan Henry. Henry is helped out here by John Ackerman (drum arrangement and production) and Laurie Ann Haus (spoken vocals). In addition to Necare, Henry has also worked with Draconian.

This self-titled masterpiece is for anyone who digs truly sad and mournful dirge-like doom. The band's website says that the music leans towards funeral-doom, with influences from Shape of Despair to Fall of the Grey-Winged One. Anyone familiar with either band would agree that Reclusiam does echo the aforementioned. I would also add that there is a touch of Evoken here as well, particularly in the single note guitar plucking, sporadically but effectively placed throughout the CD, which embellishes the overall feeling of loneliness that exists here.

And that is the feeling one gets through all four slabs of this beauty. But not just loneliness – solitude, despair and unanswered questions also cry out for attention lyrically and musically. The most powerful track is three, the epic 'Enim Corpus Meum (Hill 60)'. Reinforced by powerful percussion, this track has moments of pure sadness most effectively portrayed in the use of organ-like synthesizer. Around the nine minute mark, the track really opens up with an organ-drum combo that must be blasted at high volume to appreciate the enormity of the total track. This section even had me putting on my rare "doom scowl", the one where the corners of my mouth twist downward beyond my control and I bang my head up and down until I become partially paralyzed on my right side. (I was lifting weights at the time, which always adds to the effect!) This track also contains some of the most brutal war imagery I've ever been exposed to in doom, very much reminding me of the war literature I've read over my years as an English teacher; from Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front to the trench war poetry of Wilfred Owen and Sigfred Sassoon amongst others.

Witness the devastation in Henry's words, "I am crawling through discorporate carnage. Endless dead in blood drenched soil… Limbless and faceless and severed are the lifeless screaming… There corpses fill the endless trenches." One cannot help thinking of the situation in Iraq and other places of discord worldwide and the ongoing slaughter occurring there. Even the recent tragedy of the Indonesian tsunami reflects the song.

All in all I highly recommend Reclusiam to all my brothers in doom, both veterans and newcomers alike. It will not disappoint!

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Parasellar
2. Litanies of Rust and Decay
3. Enim Corpus Meum (Hill 60)
4. Scotoma

Duration : Approx. 45 minutes.

Visit the Reclusiam bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-2004 by Jay Murphy
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