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Last Chapter : Paths To Always

Last Chapter remains a somewhat unknown entity among doomsters. Some people have heard of them because Solitude Aeternus' Robert Lowe did the vocals on their debut album, but they never became one of the better known Doom acts because of it. Which is a true shame, because as Last Chapter again shows on this second album, they are extremely good at what they do.

Compared to their debut album they have eased down a bit on the psychedelic sound and have dived headfirst into pure traditional Doom, Solitude Aeternus style. Perhaps it is a bit unfair to compare them to Solitude Aeternus all the time (I've not read one review where they haven't), but the two bands do have a lot in common. Both bands mix in traditional Doom with progressive elements. The new vocalist, Shawn Green, also sounds suspiciously a lot like Robert Lowe.

This is however also where the comparison ends. Last Chapter's music is a lot more sluggish and can be very longwinded. It's like a steamroller that just can't stop. Pounding riff after riff rolls by at a relentlessly slow pace. As such the music can sometimes sound a little mundane or even boring to some. Personally I have no problems with this at all. The repetitive nature of the songs works splendidly in my opinion and assures a doomy atmosphere. This is unrelenting, sluggish doom-metal the way it was meant to be. Occasionally we do get treated to a slightly more up-tempo part and/or a guitar solo. Guitar solo's in doom is something you either hate or like, I do think Last Chapter pull them off quite well, but I have heard other bands do it better.

Reading the back of the booklet it becomes clear that Last Chapter are outspoken Christians. The words at the back are inspired a lot by the events that took place on the 11th of September in America and personally they do bother me a bit. With praise for Israel for example, but also it seems the band sees those events as signs of Armageddon and the Revelation about the end of the world as described in the holy bible. Luckily when it comes to their lyrics their ideas don't come into play that openly. Only the first track seems to have a clear religious undertone in the lyrics. It's not that I mind religion, but with so much misery in the world, so much death in our history, I find it so typical of American arrogance to see every tragedy with which they are confronted as a major biblical event. Sometimes I do wish Americans would realise the world does not revolve around them alone. I personally rather see religion and music divided, but in the end it remains the music that matters of course.

So back to the music again. With Solitude Aeternus taking their sweet time to release a new album and a band like Solstice split up, I think this is a worthy buy for any traditional Doom fan. Bands like Place of Skulls, While Heaven Wept and also Last Chapter are some of the best hopes for the traditional doom scene if you ask me. However, having said this, I also read on the BNR pages that Last Chapter broke up after this release. I can neither confirm nor dispute this at this time but I hope, esp. with the quality of this release, that it isn't so.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Paths to Always
2. A little slumber
3. Three. Two. One…
4. Dead End Ride
5. In Time
6. F.N.G.
7. The Yard

Duration : Approx. 47 minutes

Visit the Last Chapter bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Aldo Quispel
Aesthetic Death
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