Orphans of Dusk
Revenant EP

In my review of Mesmur’s self-titled debut, I lamented the lack of death/doom in 2014. However, there were a few worthy entries in the genre last year, and one of the most exciting actually happened to be Mesmur-related. You see, their vocalist, Chris G, is also the voice in the Australia/New Zealand-based project, Orphans of Dusk, but you would never know it just from listening. While both bands work with shades of death and doom, their styles are pretty much at opposite ends of the spectrum, and Chris G adapted his vocal approach for both. This display of range and skill is just part of what makes Revenant such a promising debut EP.

Of course, an amalgamation of goth, death, and doom metal is nothing new, but there are a few things that make this group’s take on it exceptional. First off, there are the vocals of Chris G, which alternate between an articulate yet vicious growl and a deep, tuneful croon that actually reminds me of the bass-baritone vocals of Brad Roberts of Canadian alt rock act, Crash Test Dummies. Then, there’s the huge Type O Negative influence. Now, plenty of bands have been inspired by those goth metal innovators, but I’ve never heard the darkest side of their sound so powerfully embodied as it is here. The lush keyboards, huge guitar slides and bends, heavy basslines, and massive, memorable choruses throughout the four tracks immediately take me back to the best moments of October Rust. The only things missing are the fuzzed-out guitar sound and Peter Steele’s voice, but there’s no recreating that, and this isn’t all about cloning Type O anyway. Elements of melodic death and doom are equally as prominent. I hesitate to use the word “progressive,” but the way these sounds are folded together is more layered and complex than you usually hear in this genre, as the band unpredictably shifts between styles throughout unconventional song structures filled with deft guitar work and detailed percussion. At times, tracks like “August Price” and “Nibelheim” are even downright thrashy.

The only criticism that I can come up with is that the production could afford to be a little fuller, but that could be tweaked for a CD and/or vinyl pressing (the EP is digital-only at the moment). A label needs to snatch these guys up and make that happen. I also hope a full-length isn’t too far away. The genre is in need of a band like this.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Adam Palm
March 19th, 2015

Comments

  1. Commented by: Jay

    Killer review Adam. I’m going to check this out later. This sounds like exactly what I want to hear right now.


  2. Commented by: Andy Synn

    I was about to disagree about 2014, then I checked my own list/s from last year and… yeah… hmmm…

    Still some stuff did come out that scratched the old Death/Doom itch. Kuolemanlaakso did one of my favourite albums of 2014, the latest November’s Doom was predictably great, as were Ghost Brigade and KYPCK (if you count them).

    Also my own band Twilight’s Embrace (shameless self-promotion) put out a pretty good effort I think.

    So far this year I’ve discovered both Aetherian and Exgenesis though, so things are starting out well!


  3. Commented by: Adam Palm

    Andy, I found your album and I’m listening to it now. This is some damn fine death/doom! I’m sorry that I missed it last year.

    I agree that this year is looking much better for the style with recent and upcoming albums from Atten Ash, Exgenesis, Mythological Cold Towers, Shroud of the Heretic, and most of all, Paradise Lost’s return to the genre.


  4. Commented by: Andy Synn

    @Adam

    Well, thank you man. And no need to apologise. I felt a bit bad about the shameless self-promotion there, but glad that you liked it!


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