Italian Melodic Doom Metal outfit Shores of Null return with their third studio full length, following the well received, melodic and sombre ‘Quiescence’ in 2014 and the darker and more complex ‘Black Drapes For Tomorrow’ in 2017
Shores of Null – Beyond the Shores (On Death and Dying) – Spikerot Records
Release Date: 27 November 2020
Words: Jools Green
This is a one track, thirty eight minute epic and as the title (and track name) ‘Beyond the Shores (On Death and Dying)’ suggests, it is a journey through the process of grieving. This is lyrically inspired by the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance, as formulated by the Swiss-American psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and explored in her book ‘On Death And Dying’.
This is an adventurous release, not just because it is one continuous piece, but also with the diverse elements they have woven into the work that could seem disparate on paper, but in practice are so well situated and melded they work perfectly.
There are clean slightly tortured vocals alongside growls, with guest vocals from Doom legends Mikko Kotamäki (Swallow The Sun) and Thomas A.G. Jensen (Saturnus), along with the angelic cleans of Elisabetta Marchetti (Inno).
We find haunting melodies, alongside crushing Doom, Gothic and Death Metal and even Rock orientated elements. There are also classical instruments such as piano and violin, all wrapped around bleak atmospheric sound bites to open and close.
As a result, you can not fail to be moved by the sheer atmosphere that emanates from this release, as you journey through the stages expressed so powerfully by the music.
‘Beyond the Shores (On Death and Dying)’ is a listen that is easy on the ear, but hard on the heart. From the sad haunting violin that opens setting a bleak sorrowful mood, the pace pulls you down further into the heavy emotive aspect and the harsh vocals tear into you.
Lyrically it is hugely powerful and moving even when the pace picks up. During the denial phase there is still that strong undercurrent of torment to the sound and the returning line “Life is at war, Life is at war with us” which manifests repeatedly throughout and hits home powerfully.
As you get to the repeated passage in the latter part of the track, where the cleans deliver “Sit with me, Hear the silence so loud, As my scrawny hands grow cold” and the echoing sinister growl replies “So cold…”, it cuts right through you in the most harrowing manner imaginable.
Every element plays a powerful role across this well thought out and constructed release. From the haunting piano and violins, the spoken elements, cleans and growls, all the way through to the crushing Doom rich segments, this takes you on a convoluted listening journey that, although at times painfully emotive for the listener, is at the same time an utterly superb listen that you want to tear yourself away from, yet can’t.
Produced by Marco “Cinghio” Mastrobuono (Hour Of Penance, Fleshgod Apocalypse) ‘Beyond the Shores (On Death and Dying) is a magnificently powerful and moving release.
Recommended for any and all Doom fans, especially fans of My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost, Swallow the Sun and Amorphis, it will be released on 27 November, as a CD, vinyl and digital release through Spikerot Records.