Doom:VS
Earthless


4.2
excellent

Review

by Magnus Altkula STAFF
May 26th, 2014 | 50 replies


Release Date: 05/05/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A grand manifestation of melancholy

While there’s plenty of familiarity and traditional doom songwriting to be found on Doom:VS’s third album, its sound is flawless enough to make me not care for comparisons, make me not care for other bands, make me oblivious to pretty much everything else while Earthless is playing. In that sense, there couldn’t have been a more fitting title for this record. I can’t call it a meditative album, though. During meditation, you strive to shut down your brain so you could effectively experience perfect harmony with the environment in which you’re in, cleansing your mind in the process. Earthless works the other way around: while it does a magnificent job of absorbing you during its 50-minute run time, much like meditation does, it sets your mind alight, rather than your senses. The album carries with it an aura that is austere, melancholic, bereft of sunlight, but one that above all excels at comprehensively nailing the listener into place and fixing his mind on the subject matter. There’s no real point in highlighting separate tracks here, as the album sounds best when experienced in full, building from crawling opening cuts to an explosive climax. As crushing guitars and deep growls eventually crash and entwine with powerful melodies, a level of clarity is reached at the end of the record. In a way, Doom:VS’s latest offering is a story of release, though there’s no real light or a higher plateau awaiting at the end of the journey. Emotionally, the album opens up as it progresses, but when all is said and done, the end is still unmistakably bleak. Feeling different emotions along the way though, isn’t that the point?

It has a magical quality to it, Earthless. It makes me dream bigger, think harder, envision broader. For example, it prompted me to write a long (and now entirely useless) paragraph about the sadness in us and how the album reflects it, although the source material’s scope is narrower and less abstract. Earthless is an album consumed by death: it breathes death, describes death, aches death, warns about death, it even wants to defy death. There’s no hidden philosophy to be found here – all is out for the listener to see and hear. Yet, much like with death, it isn’t as simple as it sounds. This seemingly straightforward doom metal album keeps opening doors leading to unexplored spaces with each new listen. Every single song on here has taken me over during different spells, from the hopeless title track to the unexpectedly soaring "Oceans of Despair", and all have abled my mind to portray very different images, in both tone and visuals. Aside from rock solid musicianship, it comes down to human nature and our fascination with phenomena we can’t fully wrap our heads around that makes Earthless as powerful as it is, I believe. After all, every event in our life that has to do with death has a profound effect on us, making us analyze and philosophize about our existence – we are, unmistakably, both frightful of and intrigued by it. Seeing as how multi-instrumentalist Johan Ericson deals with the subject and some of the emotions it invokes in an honest, musically engaging and thoughtful (albeit often indecipherable – grab a lyric sheet!) manner, it makes for, rather automatically, a fascinating record – one that has fantastic replay value and the ability to elicit fresh thoughts with every new spin. As many movie villains have proclaimed death to only be the beginning, the conclusion of the first playthrough to Earthless is just a start.




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user ratings (43)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
May 26th 2014


8470 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

When Jom has more reviews in a year than you do, you know you're slippin'.

Digging: Unearth - Watchers of Rule

osmark86
May 26th 2014


4592 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

been meaning to check this out. that 4.2 makes it all the more enticing to do so.

Keyblade
May 26th 2014


15868 Comments


Damn, new album gotta check. Band rules

osmark86
May 26th 2014


4592 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah just found out the other day. pretty certain this will kill.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
May 26th 2014


8470 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

It's really good, I may even raise the rating if this sounds as good let's say half a year from now.

Mort.
May 26th 2014


4547 Comments


sounds interesting, also the album art is brilliant

Digging: Agoraphobic Nosebleed/Converge - The Poacher Diaries

R6Rider
May 26th 2014


4824 Comments


oh my this looks really good

hope I like it

Digging: Thou / The Body - You, Whom I Have Always Hated

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
May 26th 2014


6553 Comments


Streaming the SC link and it sounds awesome.

Good review Magnus.



album stream - http://doomvs.bandcamp.com/album/earthless

Digging: Devil's Train - II

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
May 26th 2014


16691 Comments


dooms hard

Digging: Drudkh - Microcosmos

MO
May 26th 2014


19384 Comments


fucking magnus m/

godo stuff will listen

CK
May 26th 2014


5086 Comments


Lame name but sounds interesting

someguest
May 26th 2014


22195 Comments


Doom:BS

Digging: The Prodigy - The Day Is My Enemy

bahlof
May 26th 2014


45 Comments


The voice isn't doing it for me but I love the instrumentals. Gah why do I have to be so picky about growls..

deezer666
May 26th 2014


194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

What I have head, It rules

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
May 26th 2014


8470 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

@bahlof

What don't you like about the growls? I think they're really well done.



Thanks all, and follow MO's lead - do listen, it's worth it.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
May 26th 2014


16691 Comments


mourns hard

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
May 26th 2014


8470 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

right? right?

Nomos
May 26th 2014


886 Comments


Cool name, cool art, it's a shame I've never been able to get into this genre. I'll give it a listen when I'm home!

AnimalsAsSummit
May 26th 2014


1142 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

damn this is refreshing as shit. not usually a big doom guy

Digging: Glassjaw - Worship and Tribute

Cygnatti
May 26th 2014


23935 Comments


i'm interested

Digging: Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly



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