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Dresden-Leningrad : Vader

Will people give Dresden-Leningrad the benefit of the doubt? It’d be good as there's some really interesting points about this Dutch outfit.

I have long espoused the belief that with Doom Metal, concept speaks as loudly as any high-wattage, Sabbath-derived riff. Really, there is only so much that can be done by more than a hundred or so bands with those note structures and chord progressions before it all starts to sound, well… the same to put it bluntly. Conceptually, however, there is a plethora of themes that are just waiting to be exploited and ritually abused. While there is an unwritten set of concept guidelines to abide by, this three-piece crew from Amsterdam has found a new one all their own that has yet to have been run with… ad nauseam. They certainly seem to have a morbid curiosity for the World Wars, and this seems to be the theme that strings them together. It ties in actually…

As an atmospheric, Funeral Drone kind of band (if they would choose to categorize themselves as such), Dresden-Leningrad are not too shabby and perhaps by catering to followers of that splinter scene they will find eager ears. In opening cut 'Vader', the most simplistic two note quasi-riff crawling out from under the sound of rain and an ominous air-raid siren defies monotony (despite its pace) with its macabre tone. I could definitely see myself spiking a cc or two of China into my pipeline and nodding out to this record. That would probably make for an interesting opiate-induced hallucination, getting lost in the very cold, dystopian feel of the overall work. For now, fifteen milligrams of Diazepam in capsule form and a couple of pipe-loads of grass will do.

'Herder', the second cut off of this EP was a tough sell initially because of the slightly off-putting vocal cadence and timbre, but once I translated the lyrics from Dutch to English it changed my mind a bit and won me over. 'Niemansland' will get you instantly, though… This song rides us out into the twilight with a requiem of war where a war-weary soldier longs for loved ones left back home. This song shines on a lyrical level more than on a musical one, cleverly associating a soldier’s nostalgic longing with the typically despondent theme of Doom Metal.

I found that Dresden-Leningrad required more than two listens before I started to find them appealing. By the third time around, I started to buy into it, but the first listen or two were a bit boring (just a tad), and that might kill them with new listeners. This is one aspect of their style that will work against them in the ADHD age. There are some moments that some may find repetitive, a bit boring even, isolating a potential audience (though perfect for Funeral Doom devotees in a loose way). Speaking for myself, I gave it a second and a third spin because as a reviewer that is my obligation, but I’m not so sure many others would give it that much of a benefit of the doubt. I’d like to see otherwise, having found some interesting points about this Dutch outfit.

As for the World War concept, it’s not clear how far they will push that theme but they should be cautious of not painting themselves into a corner. Whether or not this was a motif intended strictly for the purposes of this EP or if it’ll be a running thing remains to be seen. It seems as if European World War scenarios could be an inexhaustible well of material for a Doom band, but that shtick would resonate better with History Channel shut-ins than your average Metal-head. Their sound is interesting enough that I would enthusiastically receive any future releases from these gents, and although it isn’t without its stumbles, this debut EP by Dresden-Leningrad is definitely worth filing into your collection. Now if you’ll excuse me, those 15 milligrams of Diazepam are making me very uninterested in any type of activity right now, let alone punching up this review… Nice Dreams boys and girls…

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Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Vader
2. Herder
3. Slaap
4. Niemandsland

Duration : Approx. 30 minutes

Visit the Dresden-Leningrad bandpage.

Reviewed on 2013-09-13 by Frank Lopez
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