My discovery of this album admittedly came with a hint of cynicism. Honestly just expecting it to be another Happy Days rip off band, filled with unimaginative structure and forced emotions. However I was pleasantly surprised when the album bitch slapped those negative assumptions out of me and showed itself as an album that was the complete opposite of everything I assumed it would be; instead being an actually pretty genuine and memorable DSBM album that manages to have its own style and sound without going off the beaten path or do something entirely new and original.
See, Kanashimi (Japanese for sorrow) plays a mournful mix of funeral doom metal and black metal with touches of gothic sprinkled throughout. Although this mixture of styles is not overly unique, it really doesn't have to be. Its fairly basic style manages to work very well as there is something special about its simplicity. It doesn't feel overdone or flashy, instead it feels sweet and to the point and the songs are overall pretty catchy. The riffs play a deeply saddened tone, the drums play a standard doomy slow pattern and the piano and synth play some very depressed melodies, all blended together to create a genuinely sad sound. And this is where the album shines; in its emotion and atmosphere. In the sub-genre DSBM, I feel that a lot of bands never really feel what they are singing about and it shows up in the music they create, making their depressive themes, lyrics and atmosphere feel synthetic and force, and considering that a genre that focusses so strongly on emotion, it makes those bands' sound uninteresting and bored to listen to. But listening to "Romantik Suicide" I'm really getting the vibe that O. Misanthropy is completely genuine about the emotions being put on display here, with the all of the dark riffs and distraught piano melodies blended together in a way that gives the album an authentic romantic and depressed atmosphere that even when it was over with, put me in the same sad and grieving mood that the album expresses really well. Those are albums that I love, ones that are able to strongly convey those kind of feelings and make the listener feel the same way.
But be that as it may, the album is still far from perfect and suffers from a few, but significant problems that keep it from being so. One of which is the vocals. They're standard BM vocals, and while decent sounding enough, they are very monotonous. They never do anything to give any variation and instead remain exactly the same in every regard, tone, pitch, pattern, everything, meaning the vocals sound exactly the same in every regard on every song. This tedium might not be so bad if the vocals didn't sound, contrary to the very emotive instrumental work, sound very pale and lifeless. And not not in the way that it should for a DSBM album but in the sense that they have no emotional presence behind them. It also might be worth mentioning that it sounds like there are no lyrics whatsoever and instead O. Misanthropy is just screaming into the microphone.
The other issue this album suffers from is that it is repetitive. Many songs follow the same structure and as a result, all the songs, while enjoyable, feel very similar. Too much so that I have trouble explaining specific songs for specific reasons. But this issue is softened by the album's short length. While normally, an album so short (being just a little under thirty minutes) would be a sore spot for me, here it works to its advantage, as its short length saves the album from its own repetitive nature and keeps it away from becoming tired and overstaying its welcome.
Yes, it does need work but in the end this is a solid effort from a promising project. I think that O. Misanthropy needs to just put a little more effort into his work, make his music more refined, little more inventive, maybe a bit more varied, and Kanashimi could be a lot more than what it is currently. I would recommend this to anyone looking for some good DSBM but don't expect to get your mind blown. It misses the mark on a few things but still good and has a lot of potential.
(Originally posted on Metal Archives under username "EschatonOmega")