Monday, 2 July 2012

De Profundis - The Emptiness Within

Kolony Records 2012

1.From The Depths... 2.Delirium 3.Silent Gods 4.This Wretched Plague
5.Twisted Landscapes 6.Release 7.Dead Inside
8.Parallel Existence 9.Unbroken (A Morbid Embrace)

‘From The Depths’ is a monumental ‘intro’ building the tension up perfectly for ‘Delirium’.  From the outset it’s clear the De Profundis are accomplished musicians, there is a real professional feel to the track and it’s only just started! There’s a definite over-riding sense of melody, the guitars providing a perfect atmosphere. Even when blast beats are introduced, the melody is never lost, brutally melodic! Describing themselves as ‘Extreme Progressive Metal’ pretty much sums up the band’s sound. A melodic break half way through the track introduces the band’s progressive element, acoustic guitars layered  with a bass that is ‘doing its own thing’ and cleaner spoken vocals all point to a band that aren’t afraid to mix things up, experiment and show off their excellent musicianship. Faster blast sections re-introduced to end what is a superb opening track. ‘Silent Gods’ opens up in a relatively brutal fashion, courtesy of the drums setting quite a pace. Sounding reminiscent of earlier SEPTIC FLESH and just as good. Guitar harmonies and solos are used to great effect, taking the track into extremely catchy territory. Once again a melodic interlude is used to add variety to the track and used to retain the compelling atmosphere. Blast beats then introduced again, returning the track to the brutality seen at the beginning. Acoustic guitars are again used to introduce
‘This Wretched Plague’, the bands progressive edge in full swing here, drums, guitars and bass all seemingly doing something completely different to each other, whilst working together perfectly. This theme continues throughout the remainder of the track, especially the bass guitar which at times almost leads the track. Nestled in amongst all the progressive sections are faster, blast beat led elements which sit alongside all the progression really well, neither element sounding out of place or over-used. ‘Twisted Landscapes’ follows on is similar fashion, albeit a slightly faster affair. Vocally there is great variety throughout, the main guttural death metal vocal style being backed up perfectly with the screamed, more black metal vocal style and not forgetting the cleaner, spoken type vocals – variety the name of the game. When ‘Release’ opens up, bands such as ATHIEST immediately spring to mind, PESTILENCE maybe. The band’s technical ability more than obvious here, once again the bass guitar cutting through the guitars, well up in the mix as it should be as there’s a hell of a lot going on! As the track slows, and takes on a mournful, almost sombre feel, a cleaner vocal style of singing is used which adds something more to the band’s sound, yet another element which isn’t over-used, just added for a short time to bring something new ‘to the table’ so to speak. No sooner has the track started to take on a real black metal feel, with the tension and atmosphere rising, then it ends in an all-out free form jazz blast. Different! ‘Dead Inside’ returns the album to a more extreme, death metal format, once again, if comparisons were needed, then SEPTIC FLESH would again be a relatively accurate comparison. Black metal influenced riffing introduced which sits really well against the very progressive, melodic sections. Ending the track the band have opted to really up the pace and it sounds really brutal, again starting to take on a black metal stance and yet it still manages to retain a progressive edge. Great finish to the track!
‘Parallel Existence’ is an instrumental and is yet another master-class in how to play well composed, melodic, technical and progressive extreme metal, the band really pushing the boundaries here. It all sounds very self-indulgent, but why the fuck not when you know you can play this well, show people what you can do. Technically its first rate, every band member really pushing themselves as the track slowly builds up in pace, ending very brutally, probably more brutal than anything seen in the previous songs. Ninth and final track, ‘Unbroken (A Morbid Embrace)' is a monster of a track, the longest on the entire album, clocking in at 9:07. Its surprising how quickly the track passes by though, there’s so much to keep the listener engaged that you find yourself becoming engrossed in it all. As the track slowly reaches its finale, “Unbroken” is being sung repeatedly using dual vocals and it’s very very catchy, fading out as an acoustic guitar fades in then out to end the track. I remember reading a post from the band, complaining about constantly being labelled a doom band. And with good reason, whoever described De Profundis as doom needs a good slap and a lesson in the extreme metal genres. ‘Extreme Progressive Metal’ sums the band up brilliantly, but add to that ‘Technical’ as the music on offer drips technicality, oozes atmosphere and is second to none. All nine tracks offer up compelling compositions, flawlessly executed and utterly addictive. There is a lot on offer, a lot of influences and musical styles blended together to create something very unique to the UK. An album that is easily able to match those playing a similar style on the international scene with something to offer to the majority of extreme metal fans, ‘The Emptiness Within’ comes very highly recommended…you really should be putting this on your ‘to buy’ cd list!

9 out of 10

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