2nd album for everyone's favourite Russian Funeral doom metal act. 62 minutes split in 6 tracks one more time released by Solitude Productions.
The beginning of the long title track contains spectral voices, nightmarish atmospheres and desolation feelings. The mournful march of the typical Russian tradition evoked by the keyboards and the demonic vocals represent the icy on the cake; on the other hand, the keyboard lines, the ghostly vocals, the gloomy bass and of course the slow drum pace form the song's core.
"Funeral Waltz" is near My Dying Bride's style, yet the Moscow 3-piece displays more penetrating guitars and offers additional witch-like vocals in the middle.
"Crucifixion without Regret" (what a great title) sees the recurse to Russian traditional keys lines again and a teamwork between Death vocals and other disquieting ones; still, the bottom of the abyss is reached during the ruthless part which I quote: "Quicksilver tears...down, punishment for me...now, forgiveness or lashes...strife, what is between me and ashes...life?" Listening to this song equals to being crushed by a collapsing boulder, disrupting one's inner organs to a long and excruciating end, whereas "Face the Nightmare" gives few melodic gleams of hope mixed with insane keyboard touches.
One guitar like a giant marble slab waving and the second as sharp as a surgeon's knife open and close "Wrapped in Solitude", while the rest of the composition is a detailed analysis of a desperate person on the verge of suicide.
Finally, the long "Sepulchral Winter" seems akin to Skepticism, but the Russians use two guitars and the keyboards, therefore they have more opportunities to add nuances; moreover the final guitars are played in a a way that makes them sound like enraging violins, so the result is really quite interesting; as far as I know, I've not heard the Finns render their songs in this manner so far.
Superb arrangements, depressive lyrics and a fabulous artwork constantly related to death, cemeteries and rich in vintage photos probably shot during Leningrad's famine make me suppose this record will stand the test of time and stay with us for years; "Tragedy and Weeds" is not just a fleeting glimpse or memory of 2009.
MARKUS GANZHERRLICH - 20th May 2011