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Arrant Saudade : The Peace Of Solitude

Approachable Funeral Doom from veteran musicians: Arrant Saudade's debut comes warmly recommended.

"All is dead here…
Nothing left in me
All I want is sleep
Rest my life
In the peace of solitude."

'The Peace of Solitude' opens with haunting piano sounds, setting the tone for something brooding, with a touch of melancholy. When all other instruments crash in, with murky low-guttural vocals, the haunting piano continues as an accent. It's not quite hidden all the way in the back, but serves as the melodic theme that drives the riffs along. In just the first song, there is a depth to the music that includes the sounds of strings and a woman's voice mixed with the clamor of heavy doom riffs, all set to the familiar funeral doom pace.

As the album continues that depth never drops. Clean male vocals add a haunting sense of discomfort, and that tinge of melancholy never stops. When the title track ends in a drum flourish of double bass intensity, the last couple minutes are droning chords struck on the guitar in a clean channel that are almost like ambient bell chimes, a fitting way to draw to a close the preceding cacophony.

It seems to my ears that a deft sense of dynamics is this band's strength. And the members have already built an impressive Doom Metal résumé. Members in Arrant Saudade have spent time in Mar de Grises, and Aphonic Threnody, to name a few. And that experience pays off here with this debut album.

From the first note of 'Drifting Reality' I could tell it could possibly be my favorite song the band offers. The riff and guitar tone were as welcome and familiar as every time I press play on 'Turn Loose the Swans' or 'Paradise Belongs to You'. And to my ears, this track more than any on this album did have that old '90s Doom Metal feel. To be honest, I could really have listened to more of the no-frills doom riffing, but the simple melody is so enjoyable in this one that when the other ambient elements kicked in at about three minutes into the song, I was still in the band's clutches. And indeed my initial thoughts were correct. On further listens to this album, this is the track I look forward to most; it's the one that I play on its own accord the most often.

One thing I really appreciate about the sound on this album is that the guitar tone, especially when clean, doesn't stay the same through the whole album. This isn't a thrash record; this isn't a death metal record. The emotional tone of each song is in some way reflected in the difference in guitar tone. Some songs use more open and ethereal chords that have a murky and reverbed quality. Some of the clean guitars sound like twinkling bells. And each time this band uses those subtle tweaks of the knobs it is appreciated by my ears. And at less than 45 minutes this is a doom record that doesn't overstay its welcome, which is sometimes a symptom of a musical style that lends itself to long-winded passages through dark corridors. This is as approachable as the funeral doom style gets, and definitely earns my recommendation.

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Reviewer's rating: 8.5/10


Tracklist :
1. Only the Dead
2. Feel Like Your Shadow
3. The Peace of Solitude
4. Drifting Reality
5. No Dream Left in Me

Duration : Approx. 44 minutes

Visit the Arrant Saudade bandpage.

Reviewed on 2016-01-04 by William Seay
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