Review Summary: gothic death/doom that wallows in mediocrity
Portuguese death/doom band Desire certainly have an affinity towards theatrics, and ultimately their over-use of symphony inspired samples and gothic flavoured stylings is the brunt of their failure. The 2002 released Locus Horrendus - The Night Cries Of A Sullen Soul
was the pinnacle of their overwrought and tasteless approach to death/doom, and although the band has somewhat restrained itself with the synth and operatic vocals on Crowcifix
, said elements are still relatively abundant and coat the EP in a layer of stupid, gothic pretentiousness that simply ruins their appeal.
Despite a climactic second half that rings true to any death metal rooted listener, the first six minutes of ‘White Room Falling’ languishes in over indulgent melodies, ridiculous whispered vocal passages and an infuriating amount of symphonics. It eventually builds up to a very a strong conclusion, one which would appease any death/doom fan, but it’s unfortunate for the band that this three minute portion of the song is the only good thing about the EP. Moreover, ‘Funeral Doomentia’ falls into the same traps that its preceding track did, and not even a back crunching riff that pokes its head out from beneath the suffocating synth can give the song a sense of excitement.
Vocalist ‘Tear’ no doubt can be attributed to the band’s success; his throat-wrenching gutturals are incredibly dense, but one can’t help but feel his talent would be far better used where he isn’t pushed aside by an insipid and ultimately dull form of depressive music. Even the very title of the EP, although being somewhat less dramatic than that of their previous album, leaves one to question whether the band is just running out of ideas.
The live track included at the end, which originally appears on Locus Horrendus - The Night Cries Of A Sullen Soul
, sheds light on how much the band’s theatrics have taken over their music; over four minutes are wasted with odd sounds that should, but in actual fact do not, invoke a sense of fear. Once the song begins with gutturals over naught but synth, one immediately dreads the impending mediocrity that is to follow; the studio version of the song cannot overcome its blandness, and the live track fares no better.
Having already established themselves with trite formulations of death/doom, Desire are worth only the value of their novelty. Their musical aesthetic is overshadowed by their generic reconstruction of gothic imagery, and from a neutral standpoint Desire do not offer anything remotely interesting.