Album of the Month

The debut full-length from Greek band Automaton is weighty, sludgy, coffin-lid-slamming Doom perfection.
(Read more)

Random band

Originally a one-man project of Canadian musician and poet Aidan Baker, but became a two-person band in 2004. Aiden's solo recordings are released either under ...
(read more)

The 11th Hour : Burden of Grief

Every genre is thrown into the mix...and it sounds good.

Frankly, when I review Doom albums, the names of Ed Warby (drummer for Death Metal bands such as Gorefest, Hail Of Bullets, or Demiurg) and Rogga Johansson (growler/guitarist for more old school Swedeath bands you can imagine: Paganizer, Ribspreader, Revolting, Bone Gnawer, and around 25/30 more...) aren't the ones I would expect to find. Thus, I was a bit surprised to see them coming with a Doom Metal side project, in which Ed is doing everything but the growls (those are the work of Rogga). The result is not only impressive, it's also one of the best (if not THE best) first albums of 2009 from a new band.

Let's start with the concept: This is the story of a guy dying of lung cancer, and going to each step from the announcement that it is terminal to his actual death. Now, isn't that more Doom than again a bunch of songs about dark beauties clad in black dresses and roaming through fog-ridden cemeteries? Then, there is the interpretation. Ed Warby, like I've said before, is doing everything, and he's doing it with talent and style. You'll find that there are a lot of different subgenres of Doom involved, and never does this make the mixing sound bad. When Ed is singing in clean voice (showing the normal depressed side of the main character), with some melodic riffs behind, you'll thrown back to the glory days of Candlemass’s masterpiece 'Chapter VI'. But when Rogga comes, supported by some ultra-Heavy nearly-Death Metal riffs worthy of 'Turn Loose the Swans', then it's the fighting side of the character that is shown, the will to go down with one last flipping of the bird.

And if that isn't be enough for you, there is also some orchestrations, with violins carefully put here and there and never becoming grandiloquent (the final of 'Longing for Oblivion' is a perfect demonstration of how to never sound cheesy with electronic orchestras), and a lot of dark humour in the lyrics (the alternation of vocals on the chorus of 'One Last Smoke' is just guarantee to make a grin comes to your face, while you'll headbang nervously). So, it is a Traditional Doom, Epic Doom or Doom/Death album finally? It's all that, thrown into the mix. And it's the kind of release that will put some done by more known bands to shame. Be sure to take the normal edition, as the artwork is also great, displaying the lyrics like the journal of the dying character. And you won't be forced to those pesky and useless voice-overs the promo has (like if putting voice-overs could stop bastards to put the album online). Do yourself a favour, and start November with the taste of Death in your ears. Burden Of Grief is the kind of albums that reconciliate Traditional Doom fans with Extreme Doom ones. If for nothing else than that, it's something you need to listen to.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. One Last Smoke
2. In the Silent Grave
3. Origins of Mourning
4. Weep for Me
5. Atonement
6. Longing for Oblivion

Duration : Approx. 53 minutes.

Visit the The 11th Hour bandpage.

Reviewed on 02-11-2009 by Laurent Lignon
Advertise your band, label or distro on doom-metal.com