Shape of Despair
Written In My Scars


3.0
good

Review

by DarkNoctus CONTRIBUTOR (40 Reviews)
December 3rd, 2010 | 11 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This EP ends before it really has much of a chance to shine, despite the ideas being good.

There are a few interesting things about Written In My Scars. It was intriguing enough that they limited this to a vinyl-only release, effectively slaughtering the amount of people who will be able to listen to their new material. If that wasn't frustrating enough for fans of this Finnish doom metal group, it's been 5 years since any material has been released from them. After quite a long inactivity, I would have thought that they would have made their return much more open to their fans rather than limiting it to vinyl only.

That aside though, this EP contains 2 tracks at around the 6 minute mark - which is rather underwhelming in itself for a band that used to create songs around the 15 minute mark (and make them worth the time they took), and this would have been perfectly acceptable if the songs are among their best. Unfortunately for Shape of Despair, the songs on Written In My Scars are underwhelming. That's not to say they're bad, because they're not - but after 5 years, it's safe to assume the fans must have been pining for a lot more.

To get the bad out of the way, the songs aren't structured that well. Shape of Despair usually do a great job of structuring their material so they don't feel their length and flow very well, but the tracks here seem a bit too monotonous for their own good. Though ironically, this is due to their short length. It sounds like they had the foundation for a great track, started the first 4 minutes of it, and decided not to progress the tracks any further. I guess they tried to condense their work, but it didn't do the atmosphere these tracks are meant to create any favors.

Despite this, the tracks are relatively enjoyable and do a good job of showing that Shape of Despair still know how to make that atmosphere evident in their previous works whilst merging it with a little something new. The vocals are still well performed, despite them coming off as a little stiff. There is some interesting guitar work here, especially in the second track The Bliss Of Sudden Loss, which is probably the stronger song of the EP. The title track suffers from the same issue, fading away before the track really has a chance to stand out. The ideas are good, but the idea of condensing to this extent is quite perplexing for a band that used to be all about long-drawn out ideas and bittersweet monotony. But on the plus side, the production is really great - particularly on the vinyl itself.

It's safe to say if you're a fan of Shape of Despair then you'll probably find something in this EP that you'll really enjoy. If you don't have the necessity to hear it, I wouldn't lose sleep over it. Perhaps it was a conscious decision to make the tracks so condensed, just to give a taste of things to come, but they probably could have done a much better job at it and perhaps drew out the ideas a bit more. This EP doesn't really indicate much in terms of whether Shape of Despair still have what it takes to make a great LP. The atmosphere is there, which is a start, but we'll see if Shape of Despair have what it takes to make another excellent atmospheric doom metal album. But if they do, I'm all ears.



Recent reviews by this author
Lethian Dreams Red Silence LodgeAlcest Shelter
The Howling Void NightfallGod Is An Astronaut Origins
Astronoid StargazerSaor Roots
user ratings (3)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
December 3rd 2010


8899 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

this review could have probably been better, but it was difficult to write about such a lack of material.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
December 3rd 2010


16437 Comments


Meh I don't have a problem with vinyl only releases, but I see what you mean. Never heard anything by these guys before.

Digging: Swallowed - Lunarterial

Hawks
December 3rd 2010


35838 Comments


Nice review man. Angels of Distress is awesome. Probably won't check this out though.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
December 3rd 2010


7311 Comments


Well-written, especially for a third. The flow of ideas is solid, and you seem to know what you want to convey, and that's obviously very important. The only suggestion I'd give you at this point is to try and prevent your reviews from sounding too conversational. Try to sound a bit more "detached" and "professional" and that you truly know what you're doing. Also, try and avoid using iffy words/phrases like "I guess" and "I would have thought" - they suggest that you are unsure, and for obvious reasons you don't want your readers thinking that.

Ultimately I find that reading staff reviews and contributor pieces helps one develop this didactic style of writing very well. It might be a good idea to go and have a look-see at how other more experienced writers do it. That said, this was a solid read, and I for one hope to hear more from you.

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
December 4th 2010


8899 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

alright, thanks Irving, appreciate the advice and I'll take it into account. c:

Meh I don't have a problem with vinyl only releases, but I see what you mean. Never heard anything by these guys before.


start with Angels of Distress if you're interested. if you like that, go to their debut.

Nice review man. Angels of Distress is awesome. Probably won't check this out though.


if you liked that, this is probably worth checking out. there's a presskit of this floating around on mediafire in reasonable quality posted by the record label, i just listen to the 7'' itself though.

Terrifyer
December 24th 2010


3403 Comments


slightly disappointing

DoubtGin
December 24th 2010


6752 Comments


only listened to their debut.. awesome album

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
December 24th 2010


8899 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

yeah their debut is great, as is their other two albums.

it's a shame illusion's play had so much filler

Terrifyer
December 24th 2010


3403 Comments


yah Shades Of and AOD are 2 of my fav doom albums

vanderb0b
December 24th 2010


3473 Comments


Oh shit, they've got a new EP? Angles is awesome, so I'll have to check this out.

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
December 24th 2010


8899 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

they're great. illusion's play is pretty underrated though, it has some of their best songs on it like the title track and entwined in misery. it's such a shame they ruined it with like an 8 minute synth section of the same thing over and over.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy