Doom:VS
Aeternum Vale


3.5
great

Review

by rasputin USER (196 Reviews)
July 29th, 2008 | 40 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An immersive and elaborate doom album.

Blending elements of funeral doom with a large dose of death/doom, DOOM:VS is the brainchild of Draconian’s Johan Ericson. As a one man project, Ericson shapes and directs every element of DOOM:VS, and his first album Aeternum Vale, released in 2006, is all the better for it. Seamlessly blending cold and sinister atmosphere with a strong and moving melody, Aeternum Vale is a very listenable and well crafted doom album.

When listening to Aeternum Vale, one can’t help but draw comparisons to Mourning Beloveth; both bands have a similar balance to their music, as well as a good grasp over melody. DOOM:VS is perhaps slower, sometimes bordering on funeral doom, and much more reliant on atmosphere, but the typical death/doom sounds and structures are here. ‘Aeternus’ starts off the album, and doesn’t waste any time in showing off exactly what Ericson has to offer. The track is an excellent showcase of what is to come later on; solid riffs, deep growls, excellent singing and a mournful lead melody, it has it all. Ericson’s voice is truly great; his gutturals are consistently good, albeit without much variation, but it is his clean singing which really takes the cake. Coupled with the melodious leads, his voice really leaves an impression. Moreover, there is a coldness to his voice which really contributes to the album’s overall sound. Moments where Ericson uses both his growls and singing are sublime. Take for example instances in ‘Empire of the Fallen’; strong gutturals add an element of aggression to the melody, while the solemn singing tints the song with despair.

As much as the melody is vital to ‘Aeternum Vale’, atmosphere also plays a pivotal role; more so than Ericson’s doom/death counterparts. There isn’t really any synth to speak of, but the production definitely leaves a particular glaze over the album which can only be heard when the music dies down. Nonetheless, these softer moments play a significant role in maintaining the album’s flow. Much like Mourning Beloveth, the faster and slower parts intertwine fantastically, albeit one big difference; Aeternum Vale is far slower than anything Mourning Beloveth have ever done. It wouldn’t be completely correct to label DOOM:VS as funeral doom, nor would it be wise to expect them to sound like a typical death/doom band. Ericson’s project lies somewhere in the middle, and to be honest, it really helps distinguish it as a unique and remarkable album. The climaxes don’t really break any speed records, with Ericson keeping everything at a solid pace. The heavier moments, take for example the excellent riffing midway through and towards the end of ‘The Crawling Insects’, maintains a mid-paced tempo, without losing any ground in regards to the music. Strangely though, this album not only goes slower than most death/doom, but it has several moments which are as fast or even faster than your typical death/doom. The faster riffing and short lead break towards the end of ‘The Light That Would Fade’ are both punctuated by slower moments, yet Ericson makes it feel completely natural. Ultimately, it is this ‘naturalness’ that emanates from Aeternum Vale which really makes it a success of a doom album.

Easily rising above the mold of most death/doom, DOOM:VS really pushes the boundaries on what it takes to make a good doom album. It retains a sense of despair and isolation, a sense of doom if you will, throughout its length, but turns the ends of its melodies up into what is perhaps a false sense of hope. Basically, it achieves the poise and naturalness that every doom album tries to have, and leaves you with what is an exceptional piece of work.



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user ratings (23)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
rasputin
July 29th 2008


14546 Comments


I was considering breaking up the third paragraph, but I think it doesn't really make much of a difference. Suggestions are welcome as usual.

If you like any of the recommended albums, make sure to check this out. And then if you like this, check out the recommended albums that you haven't heard.

Willie
Moderator
July 29th 2008


16019 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm on a doom-kick right now. Will have to look into this tonight. Great review.

Digging: Skrew - Universal Immolation

DBlitz
July 29th 2008


1690 Comments


I have The Sullen Sulcus and this but haven't really listened to either yet. Looking forward to em but there's a chance I might not like either.

BallsToTheWall
July 29th 2008


44477 Comments


Checked this band out like two days ago, pretty cool. Nice review. Will try to find.

Digging: Tove Lo - Queen of the Clouds

rasputin
July 29th 2008


14546 Comments


Cheers guys. Give'em a listen Blitz, let me know what you think.
Posted this an hour ago and it's already almost off the front page

taylormemer
July 29th 2008


4917 Comments


I know! It's ridiculous. Some days are good, and others like today just suck. At least I had mine up for a good 18 hours. Looks like you got the short straw today my friend.

Willie
Moderator
July 29th 2008


16019 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Posted this an hour ago and it's already almost off the front page
I don't know if many people do it, but that is why I click the "more reviews" link and scan down looking for reviews by people I generally read or bands that sound interesting, because sometimes they get knocked quick... especially when people post multiple reviews.

taylormemer
July 29th 2008


4917 Comments


Yeah, I do that too. But I don't think there are many that do actually do it unfortunately.

DBlitz
July 29th 2008


1690 Comments


forgot to say this - sweet review man. I'm on the third track and I'm liking it. I'm really loving the atmosphere.

Pebster49
July 29th 2008


2992 Comments


I can totally see this album really sounds like Draconian in a lot of ways. Excellent review, I'm sure I've already said this, but you should check out Funeral's "From These Wounds" I really think you would like it.

BallsToTheWall
July 29th 2008


44477 Comments


Martyre from Saturnus is sick folk/doom. Solar Lovers from Celestial Ceason. Awesome doom with 2 violinists. Later went down a stoner rock route but hey.

rasputin
July 29th 2008


14546 Comments


I have the newest album from Saturnus but I wasn't too impressed with that.
Pebster, downloading that Funeral album now.

fireaboveicebelow
July 29th 2008


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

dammit I was going to post my review of this

oh well, yours is better, and this album is beautiful

rasputin
July 29th 2008


14546 Comments


Ah sorry, didn't know you were going to review it. I wrote a review for this about a month ago, but I didn't submit it because it was shit, and I wrote a new one a few days ago, which is this one.
It's a really great album. I was going to give it a 4 because in reality it's more of a really high 4 for me, but I thought I'd be a little generous because it's awesome, and because it's a one man thing.

DBlitz
July 29th 2008


1690 Comments


fireaboveicebelow I think you were the one who recommended this to me in a Katotonia review.

I liked this, I'll give this more listens later.

jrowa001
July 29th 2008


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this album is sweet

Shattered_Future
July 29th 2008


1540 Comments


Does this have real or programmed drums? If they're real I'm getting this now.

AngelPhoenix
July 29th 2008


2764 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Only heard a couple tracks from this, apparently I need the whole thing

Awesome review as usual ras, super concise.

And yeah, that Saturnus album was decent, I liked it, but nothing spectacular. Hanging Garden, however, is another story.

Hawks
July 29th 2008


35824 Comments


Another great review rasputin. This album sounds awesome. I love Draconian so I would probably like this.

SHOOTME
July 29th 2008


2393 Comments


God damn, you pushing out reviews like Mormons pushing out babies!

Still, this review is very good, pos.This Message Edited On 07.29.08



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