Shattered Hope
Waters Of Lethe


3.7
great

Review

by Voivod STAFF
March 4th, 2014 | 12 replies


Release Date: 02/24/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Loss becomes us.

“Patience is a bitter plant, but its fruits are sweet”; this old German proverb summarizes perfectly the course of Greek doom/death metal outfit Shattered Hope. The outfit was founded in the early ‘00s, a time where things weren’t all too bright for the Greek metal scene as a whole, should its already acclaimed death/black metal wing be excluded. Contrary to what appears to be the case nowadays, new outfits at that time struggled hard to make a stand on their own, but after some demos or an album or two (at best), they vanished into oblivion due to lack of growth-know-how and local fan support.

Shattered Hope’s persistence beyond those times could be possibly ascribed to the kind of music they serve, which depends on a set of fragile conventions, in order to become really interesting. From the band’s initial repertoire, which consisted of custom material and Saturnus/My Dying Bride/Paradise Lost song covers, to the first EP/promo releases, Shattered Hope rounded the edges of their music progressively. In effect, the release of their debut album Absence in 2010, assessed them as a promising outfit in the vein of the previously mentioned outfits. It took four years for the band to deliver its sophomore effort Waters of Lethe, an album which brings Shattered Hope on a quite comparable level with respect to their heroes of youth.

The new album follows a different direction with respect to the debut. In Absense, Shattered Hope paid homage to all their influences, foreign and domestic (Saturnus, My Dying Bride, Septic Flesh etc.), and presented a diverse blend of majestic death/doom metal. The new album is different in that it leans decisively towards the funeral end of doom metal and outfits such as Esoteric. All songs (which go beyond the 10 min mark) are less varied, transitions per song are almost seamless, yet with minor twists (“For the Night Has Fallen” for example, transmits a latent blues vibe), whereas the lead guitar melodies are subtle and sparing. The ups and lows (for death/doom metal’s standards, that is) of the debut album are almost absent here, whereas the vocals, which have more character than in before, range timely from low-end guttural death metal to ripped-out black metal.

The lack of variation combined with the prolonged temporal length of each number, may lead many to believe that the album becomes a rather tiring affair, eventually. Two attributes in the album work the other way around; the first is the near-perfect sound production, which is equivalent (if not better) to the last Esoteric album or the mid-‘00s My Dying Bride albums (Songs of Darkness, Words of Light in particular); the second lies in the band's ability to keep things interesting, despite the lack of pronounced dynamics. In effect, a dedicated listener and fan of the genre, is expected to “relax” comfortably within the album’s sonic affliction, while completely losing track of time. “Here’s To Death” in particular, the album’s (ambient/doom metal) closer, works perfect in that way.

It is believed by some individuals, that as life becomes harder and harder, music should follow the same alley, in order for stress to be relieved. The author of this review is unsure as to how valid is this analogy and whether Waters of Lethe may or may not work towards that direction. What’s certain, though, is that Shattered Hope have made themselves worthy of further attention by fans of quality death/doom metal.




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user ratings (6)
Chart.
3.5
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 4th 2014


6340 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7 | Sound Off

album stream - http://shatteredhope.bandcamp.com/album/waters-of-lethe




Constructive criticism is most welcome.

Digging: Madred - Supersonic Brainfuck Overdrive

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
March 4th 2014


8391 Comments


Sounds like I'd really dig their debut, so that's also going to be the one I'll look into first. Solid review as always!

manosg
March 5th 2014


6707 Comments


When I saw your summary I felt that the review had to do with My Dying Bride somehow. The track is really good and I definitely listen to the MDB influences. Excellent write-up once again too!

Digging: Whitesnake - Slide It In

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 5th 2014


6340 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7 | Sound Off

The whole album is streaming at Bandcamp Manos and everyone.

As far as the influences go, I hear a lot of Esoteric as well, however this album is not as varied as Paragon of Dissonance, for example.

SeaAnemone
March 5th 2014


20970 Comments


sounds pretty cool, I'll definitely check this out
somehow got it in my mind that this was a new Loss LP based on the cover/your summary, and just reminded me how much I want that ...

Digging: Viet Cong - Viet Cong

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 5th 2014


6340 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7 | Sound Off

Well, I was looking for a decent review summary and this was the best I could think of..

Unfortunately, I haven't carefully listened to Loss, but this album shouldn't be too far from their two full-lengths.

CaptainDooRight
March 6th 2014


30334 Comments


looks like something I may be interested in

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
March 7th 2014


8946 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i liked this, very generic stuff but well done, i could see myself coming back to this, i was surprised that it kept me enthused for the entire 80 minute runtime

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 7th 2014


6340 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7 | Sound Off

^^That's why I bumped the rating a bit.

Pankar95
June 6th 2014


143 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I dont really like how this shifted towards funeral doom, but its still very well made imo.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
June 6th 2014


6340 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7 | Sound Off

Agreed.

I have it the other way around, I like this album more than the debut.

Despite its forced subtlety, it really delivers.

Pankar95
June 8th 2014


143 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well, nothing wrong with it I guess.



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