Review Summary: I didn't think it even possible for there to be albums as poor as this. This is doom at its worst.
After listening to a great extreme doom album (Last CD Before Doomsday by Worship), I’ve gotten myself a couple of extreme doom albums which, unfortunately for me, have sucked. Ada by Wraith of the Ropes is one of them. There is one word to describe Ada, but I’ll say it three times for the full effect: boring, boring, and boring. The most important thing a doom album must do is create an atmosphere which isn’t boring. It actually needs to drag you into the sound, and let you loose amongst the sorrowful music that the album contains. Ada does not do that. It’s plagued by numerous flaws, and because they were aiming for such a high target and have fallen short, the album is seriously very bad.
I hope it’s not becoming a trend, but monotony seems to be what a lot of doom bands are aiming for. I’m not sure why, but it could be that they’re incorrectly thinking that if the music is slow and repetitive, it equates to sorrow and anguish. Then let’s throw in a bunch of synths, piano, and samples of the wind howling over desolate wastes. If done correctly, all of those elements can contribute to a great album. However, if done incorrectly, as is the case for Ada, it makes for one terrible album. I can’t forget to point out the fact that it’s entirely possible this album was meant to be this lame. The music has links to dodgy horror movies, and a release on Halloween of 2005 suggests this even more. Rather than being original or inventive though, it sounds lame and doesn’t make it any less boring.
The first thing to note is that every song is a re-jumble of the song before it. They use the same riffs, same vocals, same everything, but just in a different order. I’m sure if the album was half the length, (therefore an EP), it would be a much better listen, but when you have something this dull dragging on for almost an hour, you really feel like you’ve wasted your time listening to it. I even feel like I’m wasting my time writing this review, because I could be reviewing something much more enjoyable. An example of the blandness on the album is the beginning of every song. They all sound the same. It’s pretty much just atmospheric, spooky, B-grade horror movie samples, while one song has piano over it, and another has more synthy sounds. It really makes you feel like you’re listening to the same song again and again; there isn’t any change in the monotony. The album just drags all over the place. An example is the song Alone. It just keeps going at a tediously slow pace for nine minutes, with the addition of an irritating piano tune around the halfway mark. I think Wraith of the Ropes tried to make it sound scary, but they failed.
Secondly, the production on this album is murky, sloppy and dank. I’m quite certain that the guitars and vocals sound horrible on purpose, in order to ‘add to the atmosphere’, but it just sounds like crap. You can barely hear the guitars; they become a drone that just adds to the synth effects. The drums did sound reasonable, as did the keyboards, but that was only because you could actually hear them. They weren’t anything special, let alone decent. The fact the drums were clearer than the guitars made the album really crap in the heavier parts. In the middle of the song Final Reflection, there is a supposed heavier part, but you only realize it because you can hear blast beats and the vocals are at a quicker pace. The rest of the music is a murky sludge that just hovers behind the drums and vocals. It’s a terrible formula. They use blast beats in other parts of the album, even when the rest of the music is slow, and it sounds very out of place.
There is no talented musicianship on this album. I’m very certain I could play every guitar riff, every bass line, every keyboard/synth sample, and even do all the drumming. It’s all very basic. The vocalist is probably the only redeeming factor, but even he is horrible. He sounds exactly the same in every single song. If he sung the same lyrics for every track on here, I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. There is no variation at all in his voice; he uses the same low growl in every song. And don’t think that his growl is that amazing; it pales in comparison to even a standard death metal vocalist.
The one good thing about this album is that it’s highly unlikely most people will have to listen to it. It’s just a bad album, and I won’t be listening to it anymore. If you want good extreme doom, look into the band Worship.
- It’d make a good birthday present for someone you don’t like.
- It has a naked Asian chick on the cover.
- Bad production
- Far too simple music, even for Doom
- Bad vocals
- Far too much synth
- Lame atmosphere