Skepticism
Lead and Aether


4.5
superb

Review

by Mclovin USER (7 Reviews)
June 17th, 2010 | 19 replies


Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A 48-minute trek of brooding desperation, dark reveries, and, of course, doom.

One of the most crucial steps in rating an album accurately is matching your criteria with the album's apparent purpose; you wouldn't judge Beethoven in terms of "sick-nasty rhythms" or Cannibal Corpse in terms of artistic merit. In Skepticism's unique funeral doom release Lead and Aether, heavy use of dark melodies, creative chord structures, ever-building minimalism, pounding pseudo-tribal drums, and almost - dare I say it - catchy keyboard/organ lines draw the listener in more than a few directions. Thus, establishing a basis on which to judge the album was quite difficult. However, the ultimate purpose seems to be a 48-minute trek of brooding desperation, dark reveries, and, of course, doom. Lead and Aether is a brilliantly multifaceted album that accurately conveys this without becoming too lost in repetitive drudgery.

With less-than-polished production, deeply resonating drums, overdubbed guitars, powerful organ chords, and deep, mournful growls, Skepticism creates a wall of sound equivalent to six feet of well-packed soil. However, they also know when to lay back and allow minimalistic instrumentation and sombre undertones take over. This seems to be an amiable trait in the world of funeral doom; after being slowly but surely barraged by total despair, this allows for the listener to convalesce before returning to desolation. In addition, this adds a blatantly varying factor in a stereotypically monotonous genre. However, beneath the surface, avoiding monotony is one of the album's greatest strengths. Through shifting instrumentation, tempo changes, various keyboard tones, and well-varied atmospheres, each song is given its own identity and purpose. From the emotional heights and lows of "The Falls" to the inherently evil-sounding "The Organium", Lead and Aether brings the listener on a dreary trip through catacombs, castles, and coffins from various viewpoints and accurately conveys the emotions of each.

Although largely incoherent, the lyrics match these themes in a surprisingly poetic manner. The lyrics to "The Falls", for example, could easily find a place between Emily Dickinson and William Cullen Bryant. This seems to represent the album as a whole - although aesthetically dark and straightforward, when examined further, Lead and Aether is of great artistic value, contains a broad spectrum of ideas, and represents a strong release, regardless of what criteria the album is judged by.



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user ratings (30)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Victor (4)
A grandiose album dedicated to desperation, depression, and melancholy....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Helvete
June 17th 2010


1354 Comments


good review. all skepticism albums are awesome

Mclovin
June 17th 2010


293 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm a huge noob in regards to DOOOOOOOOOOOOOM, but I really enjoyed this, so I suspect I'll be looking more into the genre.

Helvete
June 17th 2010


1354 Comments


yeah Skepticism is a good place to start for funeral doom. have you heard these bands:

Worship
Thergothon
Esoteric
Shape Of Despair
Disembowelment
Mournful Congregation
Evoken

alt
June 17th 2010


230 Comments


pos. if you haven't pretty much check out all the bands Helvete listed except swap Ataraxie for Evoken.

Mclovin
June 17th 2010


293 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Only Thergothon and Esoteric so far. Thanks for those, I'll check them out!

ConsiderPhlebas
June 17th 2010


6157 Comments


Never heard these guys but want to now. This sealed it for me:

The lyrics to "The Falls", for example, could easily find a place between Emily Dickinson and William Cullen Bryant.



Good review.

Mclovin
June 17th 2010


293 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Haha, well enjoy man! I'm glad I decided to look up the lyrics, because they're definitely pretty awesome - even if you can in no way derive them from the album itself.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
June 17th 2010


7391 Comments


Good review, but I'm not into doom that much. As for the distorted walls of sound I recommend the last Part Chimp album entitled Thriller.

Digging: Lo-Pan - Colossus

rasputin
June 17th 2010


14544 Comments


cool review

the record is really good but it's no where near their best, both farmakon and alloy are far better

Mordecai.
June 18th 2010


8279 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hai

Helvete
June 18th 2010


1354 Comments


digging Stormcrowfleet like a bitch lately. if you're going to pick it up, do not get the remaster

lostforwords
June 18th 2010


446 Comments


"swap Ataraxie for Evoken"

yes,do that

Helvete
June 18th 2010


1354 Comments


I meant old Evoken btw, not Antithesis Of Light. but yeah Ataraxie is awesome get that too

Mclovin
June 18th 2010


293 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Greg, I'll have to check that out - it's not in sputnik's database, in case you didn't already know.
Rasputin, thanks bro, Imma look into their discography now, I do believe.
O hai Mordecai!
Helvete, duly noted!
lostforwords+Helvete, I'll take the diplomatic approach and check out both!

mcg182
August 8th 2010


144 Comments


Hey, Mclovin. Shape of Despair, Depressed Mode, and Ea are really goods ones as well. Evoken is probably the best one by today's doom metal standards.

rasputin
August 8th 2010


14544 Comments


shape of despair are pretty good, ea are okay, their second album was pretty standard but their third is a bit better

depressed mode are absolutely terrible

J34
November 1st 2010


24 Comments


The March and the Stream is probably has the most intense atmosphere I have heard in a song in quite some time. Speechless

MO
January 18th 2011


18680 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is some awesome stuff

Wizard
October 30th 2012


19403 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Damn happy I ordered this, just as good as everything else they've done.

Digging: Khonsu - Traveller



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