Shores of Null
Beyond the Shores (On Death and Dying)


3.8
excellent

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
November 27th, 2020 | 20 replies


Release Date: 11/27/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A death/doom metal odyssey for the five stages of grief

The emerging Italian death/doom metal quintet returned with their most ambitious project so far. Beyond the Shores (On Death and Dying) is an immersive, 38-minute odyssey that blends multiple styles into one sullen trip. The album is inspired lyrically by the Kübler-Ross five stages of grief model and its multipart, recurring themes reminisce Kauan’s output. Despite certain similarities, the production here is grittier, closer to acts such as Paradise Lost or Pallbearer for example. Thankfully, the track flows quite smooth, its structure and mood shifting repeatedly throughout. From the windy sound scape and mournful violin introduction, we’re thrown directly into this bleak universe, where a trudging main riff slowly burns and melancholic clean vocals are backed by raucous growls. A morose atmosphere sets in fast and accompanies you for the entire duration of the album.

An urgent second part kicks in a number of minutes later, swapping the growls with visceral, high-pitched screams. There was a lot of thought put on the vocal layering, since front men Mikko Kotamaki (Swallow the Sun), Thomas A.G. Jensen (Saturnus), Martina Lesley McLean (Enforces) and Elisabetta Marchetti (Inno) all contributed to enrich the experience as much as possible. Everyone brings something different to the table, thus keeping things interesting. Halfway through this epic, the music is allowed to breathe more and expand a bit as well. Piano touches are introduced, whereas glimpses of previous movements are reprised. Also, this is where the slightly lighter tone we witnessed shifts back to a more unsettling detour, courtesy of the dissonant guitar leads added in the mix. Riffs soon become slower and heavier as the clean vocals give way once more to the harsh ones and spoken narration. Towards the end, the band builds up to a grandiose finale with epic progressions and powerful singalongs. As ‘Beyond the Shores’ ultimately dwindles to the opening riff and violins, you are suddenly cut off from the story by the sound of menacing thunders and severe winds. It’s a nice feature that manages to snap you out of this elegiac journey crafted by Shores of Null and their guests.

Overall, it’s great to see the group wandering sonically and using their strengths in a more expansive fashion. There are small bits that could have been developed differently, especially during the middle section. I believe the instrumental should have received more room to develop or at least have a longer, subdued break. This way, the dynamics would have been more striking. Meanwhile, the differences in volume and placement in the mix between the main, clean vocals and growls are a tad high. The former are at times losing impact being overtaken by the guitars, while the latter are dry and too up front during certain moments. Nevertheless, these subjective observations don’t have to derail from listening to this strong LP. This is Shores of Null’s most interesting and encompassing effort yet.




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user ratings (12)
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
November 27th 2020


5314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Quite an easy listen for a 38-minute song. I find it their strongest work to date.



Stream here - http://shoresofnull.bandcamp.com/

Digging: Front Line Assembly - Mechanical Soul

Slex
November 27th 2020


10923 Comments


Was pretty interested in this, good review, gotta check

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hel9000
Contributing Reviewer
November 27th 2020


933 Comments


This sounds pretty neat, I’ll give it a listen

Digging: Bob Dylan - Blood on the Tracks

Coldplaz
November 27th 2020


103 Comments


I remember seeing this band years ago before Novembre, they were alright but not particularly memorable.

ChoccyPhilly
November 28th 2020


13114 Comments


i dont usually listen to this kind of stuff but you sold it to me with this review

Digging: Aethyrick - Apotheosis

Fort23
November 28th 2020


3763 Comments


Had me at Italian /pos

Digging: MC Money & Gangsta Gold - Da Hard Ov Frayser

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
November 28th 2020


5314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Thanks. I think they found a tighter formula with this album or at least being shorter than previous LPs it's more immediate.

DarkNoctus
November 28th 2020


11367 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

have me with the kauan rec

Digging: Caelestra - Black Widow Nebula

DarkNoctus
November 29th 2020


11367 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

bloody hell i'm 13 minutes in and this is fantastic



edit: yeah this is a wonderful record, do not sleep on t his

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
November 29th 2020


5314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Glad you enjoy it!

DarkNoctus
November 29th 2020


11367 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

to me it's like swallow the sun meets saturnus and they make a 38 minute track work



the songwriting here is killer

nolerthebowler
November 29th 2020


6537 Comments


shores of Nol

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
November 29th 2020


5314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

I must admit I haven't listened much to Saturnus or Swallow the Sun until now. I know a couple of their albums and random songs. This is why I thought of Kauan more I guess.

DarkNoctus
November 29th 2020


11367 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

all of saturnus' albums are worth listening to. the last album is the most similar to this one. i think these guys borrowed heavily from it. thankful they did though - the result was great

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
November 29th 2020


5314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

I haven't listened to that one yet, will check.

DarkNoctus
December 8th 2020


11367 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

holy fuck



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PicIlnHwYCw



they've done a full music video for the whole 39 minute track and it's amazing



it appreciates your appreciation for the track *massively*

Azog
December 11th 2020


387 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, this is pretty good stuff. I wasn't even aware of this band, to be honest, until today.



Checked out their older stuff as well. It's all decent enough, but this album definately is a major step up.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
December 20th 2020


5314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

The video is cool and yes, this is definitely a step up from previous LPs.

DDDeftoneDDD
January 13th 2021


15390 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

hum...I should check this with the video. Diggin it so far.

Digging: Nervosa - Perpetual Chaos

DDDeftoneDDD
January 19th 2021


15390 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

shit's really awesome m/



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