Shape of Despair
Monotony Fields



by Chamberbelain USER (214 Reviews)
August 15th, 2015 | 7 replies

Release Date: 2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Beautifully Nostalgic

Luscious landscapes of sonic resonance from both the pits of hell and the skies of heaven are what comprise Funeral Doom. Funerals are a time of mourning and joy. Let us mourn that the ones we love are lost to the atmosphere of this world but let us rejoice that they had the presence to set foot on this earth and mingle among us. Fans of Shape Of Despair have been in mourning for the past 11 years since the release of their previous album Illusion’s Play. An excruciatingly long wait no doubt, but the joy one feels when listening to Monotony Fields is overpowering as it is a purely exquisite voyage of yielding passion.

"Reaching The Innermost" begins with the sway of synth setting sail across the oceanic wave of crescendo. Its destination: the deepest and most burdened corners of the heart. The lumbering bass and simple chord changes glide effortlessly along the shores of Quintessence while the menacing growls from the recently installed Henri Koivula are smothered by Natalie Koskinen’s awe-inspiring cries. The journey comes near to the end when all the instruments cease that leave the exposed female vocals naked in the darkness and leaves you completely absorptive to the euphoric atmosphere. The vocals are intense throughout this 75 minute masterpiece; furthermore they increase the level of grandiosity within Shape Of Despair’s music. The harrowing glow of "Descending Inner Night" alone paralyses you in a comatose state while the constant growling nightmarishly slumbers around your head. Not long after, cleaner vocals are heard from the same voice that leave the song emotionally primed. The transforms from soft-to-harsh vocals are simply velveteen during "In Longing". The growls crawl out from the crack of earth and then cower back just as seamlessly to a softer verse while feminine chants provide a glimpse of light that stop you from drowning amongst the ominous darkness. If you’re not crying yet then the only reason is because this album has stolen the soul you one had.

Shape Of Despair use synthesizers in every song of their fourth album. The sluggish drones both rule and maintain each song in its own masterful way. It dominates in "Withdrawn": providing a pendulous backbone of universal soundscapes and also in "The Blank Journey" whereby the tranquillity is broken by the sudden moan of bass and guitar however the luminescent synth still pierces through the bleakness. Yet in the title track it is hidden in the background supporting the weight of the riffs and equalling the balance between gloom and glamour. The bands’ musicianship and use of synthesizer come to a natural balance in the album closer: "Written In My Scars". The (what sounds like) tear-dropping inspiration from the piano introduces the song in gorgeous fashion as Koivula’s abysmally heavy vocals envelope round the strained guitars. The paradox of these devastating vocals and tranquil harmonies evoke a truly majestic piece of music. The angelic cries from Koskinen are so flawless in this song that one may mistake them for being the actual synth itself; which proves a vast landscape of lamenting, sonic magnificence. And finally, the stressed notes carry a longing heartbeat of a melody that end the album just as it started: beautifully.

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user ratings (190)
other reviews of this album
Robert Davis (4.5)
After 11 years, Shape of Despair have arguably created an album which will prove to be just as good,...

Comments:Add a Comment 
August 15th 2015


Album Rating: 4.0




August 15th 2015


Album Rating: 4.0

"If you’re not crying yet then the only reason is because this album has stolen the soul you one had."

I'd personally try to avoid sentences like this and excessive lyricism in a classic review, since they come across as very fanboyish, and instead strive for descriptions in a reasonably neutral tone.

August 18th 2015


Album Rating: 3.5

Damn this review is awesome. I heard a few clips from this and liked it but it didn't really seem to grab me. I think it's time to bust out the good cans and give this my full attention.

June 10th 2018


Album Rating: 5.0

i never noticed this review. spot on. album is incredible.


If you’re not crying yet then the only reason is because this album has stolen the soul you one had.

i assume you meant "once had"?

December 27th 2018


Album Rating: 4.0

Love this album/band so much.

December 27th 2018


Album Rating: 4.0

I honestly like their first 2 a bit more (Angels of Distress is top 3 funeral doom for me) but their whole discog is amazing.

January 24th 2019


I needed this tonight after hearing one of my friends had passed. Some amazing stuff here.

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