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Edellom : Long Lost Suns (Demo)

Something of a mixed bag, Edellom's demo nonetheless shows very reasonable Gothic/Doom promise.

Well, it's always nice to get a new release from an artist outside the normal boundaries of the genres we usually deal with: in this case, something claiming to be a first, in the shape of an Israeli Gothic/Doom band (I won't argue - though Metal Archives tags a couple of earlier bands with that label, they aren't ones I'm familiar with). Anyway, despite Edellom's jagged reversible logo hinting at something a little more Black Metal-ish (something we'll cover later), they most definitely are amongst the vanishingly small number in that category. They've had a somewhat complex history, with a dozen different members circulating through various different line-ups since 2009 - and of the current quartet, almost everyone has at some point been the official bassist!

That probably goes some way towards explaining why this first demo took seven years to arrive - though, clocking in at forty-odd minutes, and with a fairly epic sweep to it, it can actually feel more like a debut full-length than anything else. Apart, perhaps, from the production, which is a little cramped and untidy - there's just a bit too much going on at times, and it could do with more separation and space to breathe in. That said, the contributing lead instruments and voices, do a reasonable job of rising above that to stamp some authority on proceedings. Even the drums, which I'd suppose are programmed* - partly from the lack of official credit for a drummer, partly from the way they iterate sections of identical repetitions - manage a reasonable heft and body, and enough variety to get by. Keys make fleeting appearances, adding both sinister and symphonic ornaments, but the mood of 'Long Lost Suns' tends more towards hard-edged aggression than any sort of delicate ethereality.

Opening with a brief, ambient instrumental, there's then a segue to my highlight moments of the album: the opening section of 'Symbiote', where dreamy acoustic guitar backs a soft and clean male/female vocal duet. Things quickly pick up pace thereafter, taking more of a classic '90s beauty-and-the-beast Gothic Metal turn, sometimes very reminiscent of early Within Temptation. (That's not a pejorative - it happens to be my favourite period of that particular band). Edellom don't stray all the way over that border, however, mostly keeping things anchored within a Doom frame thanks to the heaviness of the guitars and the alternate dark snarling fury or downbeat growls of the male harsh vocals. That's perhaps just as well, as the one track which does go more or less full Gothic Metal, 'The Queen In The Ice', is something of a plod - sweet enough vocally, but 20 years too late to sound anything but generic.

I mentioned Black Metal earlier: it's not excessively prevalent, but there's certainly more than a hint or two when the pace goes to an uptempo double-kick, in some of the more tormented harsh vocals, and in some of the harsher guitar dynamics. Overall, though, things tend to hover around a stately paced Gothic/Doom-Death/Doom combination - the purest example being the slow and bleak 'Death Of Time', in which the female vocals stay low and solemn. They largely do the same in the atmospheric pair of closers, 'Time-Delay' and 'Sunset', giving them a more sombre anchor for much of their duration.

Something of a mixed bag, overall, then - and, despite the sometime feeling that this could almost be considered a full debut, it's certainly fairer to assess under the demo banner with which the band present it. On those grounds, it shows a lot of promise - Edellom is home to some talented musicians, with the ability to work disparate influences into decent compositions. They haven't quite managed the difficult trick of getting soaring-vocalled mid-tempo passages to stay firmly in Doom territories - like, say, Draconian do - and could do with a little more technical development in the studio, but those aren't massive criticisms where demos are concerned. So, it's not completely fully-formed, but if you want some darker-than-average beauty-and-the-beast work, you could do a lot worse than start here and keep an ear out for the band in future.

* Editor's note: To set the record straight, we have been informed that whilst the band have no permanent drummer at the moment, the drums on this release were performed by a session musician. The review itself has not been altered, as it still accurately reflects the reviewer's impression of the drum sound, but it should now be considered an opinion rather than a supposition.

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Reviewer's rating: 7/10


Tracklist :
1. Into The Sun
2. Symbiote
3. The Queen In The Ice
4. Death Of Time
5. Time-Delay
6. Sunset

Duration : Approx. 39 minutes

Visit the Edellom bandpage.

Reviewed on 2017-06-13 by Mike Liassides
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