Review Summary: An Album in Conflict
Taphos’ debut Come Ethereal Somberness
is a study in conflict. Conflict of influence, conflict of sound; it's as if one band wrote riffs and another wrote leads. “Ocular Blackness” utilizes riff structures typical of death metal but we get a melodic, almost ambient solo about midway through the song that's out of place and confusing to the listener. It's a theme that creates uncertainty throughout the album's entirety. I found myself asking if Taphos will fully commit to the melodic sound or will they cave and give in to the old school influences"
The answer is, unfortunately, neither. We have most of an album full of “Ocular Blackness,” well meaning death metal with disjointed melodic parts. The notable exception to this is “Insidious Gyres” and its prelude “Dysfori.” It isn't until this moment Somberness’
conflict comes to a head and we are finally shown the riffs which Taphos have been telling us they're capable of. This final climax is then marred by a solo that insidiously hints it was a fluke, and the album's closing moments confirm the song is not a conscious denouement, the riff and lead writers simply switched seats.
Taphos is a band capable of more than Come Ethereal Somberness
lets on. We see hints of it, but the potential is never realized. Ultimately, this is an album that would have been much better served by its inherent conflict had it either closed a song earlier or been self aware enough to resolve it.