Desultory
Through Aching Aeons

Though some might argue they belonged with Dark Tranquillity and In Flames in the pantheons of Swedish metal, I’d put Desultory’s first three albums right there in the second tier of Swedish styled death metal along side the likes of Seance, Cemetery, Comecon and such. Their more melodic take on the Stockholm sound was a welcome addition to the genre,  and I’d put the track “Tears” from 1993s Into Eternity  and “Life Shatters” from 1994s Bitterness up against anything from the era.

After those 3 albums, things took a bit of a downturn as the band tried to ride Entombed’s death n roll coattails and released Swallow the Snake to much critical disdain and the band went on hiatus for almost 15 years. They came back in 201o with Counting Our Scars, a solid return to form and here we are another 7 years later, with Through Aching Aeons. And while I’m not sure anyone really wanted or really needed another Desultory album, it’s actually pretty good.

The line up is largely the original guys from the first three album and the comeback, so there is some consistency  and veteran savvy here and it shows. As with their first three albums, Through Aching Aeons delivers  slightly more melodic, blacker and at times, a more somber take on Swedish death metal. The punchy guitar tone has been beefed up to fit in with the times,and has a mid range buzz, but not an overbearing one as with many of their peers. Entrails this is not.

The songs are all pretty decent, with a fair amount of memorable riffs and melodic leads. Openers “Silent Rapture”, “Spineless Kingdom” charge right out of the gate with a more direct Dismember ish assault before the title track delivers a number that recalls the classic first three albums with some nice pacing and melody lines amid the crunchy riffs. “In This Embrace”, one of the album’s strongest track has a really nice hack n slash riff, before the album hits a bit of a mid album lull, with 2 numbers  (“Beneath a Bleeding Sky” and “Divine Blindness”) coming in at over 6 minutes, and dragging things down a bit, though certainly not bad tracks. The short sharp burst of “Slither” breaks them up a bit, but seems a bit forcededly brutal. “Breathing the Ashes” is a solid track with a melodic death metal crunch and gallop.

But another 6 minute number “Our Departure” closes the album on a real high note with a real despondent track closing few minutes that highlighted the band’s early career. A career that certainly isn’t quite as lauded as some of their peers and this comeback probably wont get quite as much attention as some of their peers, but a pleasant surprise that seems like a real, honest veteran effort rather than a cash grab attempt on the genres current popularity.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
August 14th, 2017

Comments

  1. Commented by: Nick K

    Bitterness is such a different album from Into Eternity. I wil have to check this out. Great review Erik!


  2. Commented by: F.Rini

    I love this album. Just as good as their reunion album years ago. Catchy, heavy and o love all the songs.


  3. Commented by: AJ

    I just stumbled on these guys and am quite surprised Ive never heard their work. Im going to check this album out. I love all your reviews Erik.


  4. Commented by: E. Thomas

    Cheers! and definitely check out their 90 stuff except swallow the snake. skip that one


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