Review Summary: A depressive black metal mixed with funeral doom that fails to ever really get going.
Black metal is a subgenre of metal that has been mixed with a lot of other styles of music. You have progressive black metal, melodic and symphonic black metal, viking black metal, etc. Well, Elysian Blaze is a band that opts for the depressing black metal sound while also mixing in elements of funeral doom. Not too many bands in the black metal genre mix their music with doom and this is their debut album. There are some top notch black/doom bands such as Forgotten Tomb, Nortt, and Forest Stream, but other than that there's not too many well known black/doom bands out there. How does Elysian Blaze's attempt at it turn out? Well it's pretty underwhelming if you ask me.
The thing that really drags this album down is the fact that it really never succeeds at getting started. The album starts out very promising with some creepy keys playing and if you're like me you might think you're in for a hell of a treat. Well that doesn't last too long. After the melody fades Elysian Blaze never really do anything too interesting. It's just like you're listening to another depressive black metal band that you've heard a million times before. The riffs never really keep you interested for too long and while they're obviously influenced by funeral doom, they don't provide that crushing and immense sound that funeral doom riffs should have. The drumming is pretty much a non-factor here seeing as how there's pretty much just one slow beat the entire time.
Probably the most annoying thing about Cold Walls and Apparitions
is the effect on the vocals. They're so far in the background that you can barely hear them at all. Now some bands like Ash Borer have the same style, but you can hear some emotion in those vocals. These ones are pretty uninspired for the most part, except for at some points during Walking On the Winds of Sin. Other than that, it's an extremely bland vocal performance and quite frankly, will get on your nerves. Having to listen so hard to even hear a voice and then hearing vocals so monotonous and unemotional will just make you want the album to be over already.
Like I said though, there are some promising parts. It's very pleasant the few times where you actually hear some melody, such as the beginning of the opening track. If they would keep that going then this abum would be a whole lot more listenable. Unfortunately though this album is one big ball of potential that never gets reached whatsoever.
If you haven't guessed, I was extremely disappointed by this album. Just to warn you, if you're going into this expecting a crushing black/doom album, then you're gonna be underwhelmed. Boring riffs and drumming and a vocalist with zero emotion doesn't add up to a good listen. If you want some black metal with doom mixed in then you would be better off sticking with the bands I mentioned at the beginning of the review and staying away from this one, because it might end up putting you straight to sleep and not in a good way.