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Death Metal

Depression Has Never Sounded So HEAVY!
Loss – Horizonless Album Review + Preview

Despite their releases being few and sparse, Loss should be considered extreme doom/death royalty. This is also depicted in the collaborations they have done, releasing split records with Necros Christos and Worship, at a time when both those acts were still getting their footing in the extreme metal scene. It took Loss seven years from their inception to release their debut full-length, Despond, but it was well worth the wait. Depicting a band that had a great grasp on the sound and feel of the genre, understanding all the nooks and crannies that are in play when creating this dark and ominous music, it was an astounding record of doom/death weight coupled with mournful overlaps.

Extreme doom/death, or under its sillier moniker, funeral doom, is not about simply playing slow. If your music is without feeling, without purpose, slowing it down will not do much good. Loss know that, and they understand how they can use the slow pace to their advantage, to enrich the feeling their tracks transmit, not to simply hide behind it. What matters is what happens between the heavy beats and fading guitars, establishing a flow between the parts, and switching up when needed. It is all about orchestrating with the pacing, finding the proper place to experiment. This is where outbreaks from the repetitive progression can be exploited, as in the ending of “The Joy of All Who Sorrow” where the blastbeats intrude and reveal an even more crushing manifestation.

Horizonless encompasses a deeply melodic side, an element adopted and reworked from the early doom/death releases of the ’90s, as the processional dual guitar leads let on in “All Grows On Tears.” It adds a sense of mysticism and majesty, which is where the sorrowful tone of this work originates. Yet, Loss apply ample dissonance, acting as a counterweight to their melodic side, with a death-like aggression and a blackened outlook, as eerie leads fill up the space and plunge the world into darkness. This marriage between the melodic and the dissonant, the beauty and the ugliness, is a very delicate balance, and it is essential for producing a complete record of the extreme side of doom/death.

Through this tempering of elements, Horizonless gains its most poignant form, that of establishing a narrative. The storytelling quality that springs from the tracks is the guide through the twists and turns of the record, and it is the inclusion of the short, bridging tracks that really drives this home. The ritualistic setting is already established in “Moved Beyond Murder” paving the way for “Naught,” while the subtle lines of “The End Steps Forth” provides the epic perspective that the title track capitalizes on. It is this morphing ability of Loss, the manner in which they transverse from one part to the next that makes this narration work so well, moving from the atmospheric parts to the heavy riffs, from the mind crushing melodies to the blastbeats, incorporating acoustic interludes and always with Meacham’s chameleonic vocal delivery that make Horizonless an excellent specimen of what extreme doom/death can accomplish. Leaving us at a place without horizon, forever in a static starless night.

Written By

Sound engineer, sonic manipulator, record hunter and writer/contributor for a variety of webzines.

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