Bereavement
The Advent of Loss

One of the great things about being on a constant metal scavenger hunt is when you find that golden band that is just full of talent that no one knows about. There’s a sort of pride and gratification in presenting these bands to the unfamiliar. Though I am a reviewer, I do not get as many of these “gems” as one would believe. There is still a shit pile of worthless absurdity floating around everyday and always will be in metal. That’s what makes it so fun I guess. So, when I find a band as promising as Bereavement it does make the hunt all worthwhile.

Hailing from Bethlehem Pennsylvania of all places, Bereavement is an unsigned act that bleeds talent. Challenging the likes of early Opeth, Enslaved, and Novembers Doom, Bereavement play progressive death/doom with a splash of black metal. The Advent of Loss is a remarkable listen especially knowing this is a self-financed band. The production is the most noticeable factor. Obviously, this band did everything they could financially to release this record and it is of very high caliber, but you can definitely hear the low budget production at times on this CD. Which makes this even more enjoyable because it still slays and it makes for a very organic sound, which is not very typical for a progressive death outfit. The only other band that sounded like that to me was Opeth with Orchid.

Folk acoustic passages flourish this release with beautiful moments. It’s those points in the songs where you just feel lifted by a depressive sound, which is quite an oxymoron, but I’m sure most metal fans can relate to that. Jazz elements are fused throughout the death metal riffing and solo executions with flawless musicianship. Once the lead guitar player Jeremiah Martnick starts ripping through the fret board there is no inclination of weakness in his skill at all. This is a serious guitar player folks. Off time signatures happen occasionally and are placed just right. “Axis” is the first point where we hear these strange time placements. Makes for a very interesting beginning.

Vocals are varied quite well. Brother Jonathan Martnick has a deep guttural growl and a higher pitched rasp that he alternates nicely. The only real downfall happens in the clean sung sections. The songs will break into triumphant Viking style passages just like Opeth but they are very weak. There isn’t a hell of a lot of variation or flavor within these parts. Luckily they only happen a few times throughout the disc. Needs work.

All in all Bereavement delivers a very professional package that screams “sign me!” They definitely sound like they deserve it. Apparently, they roam around their hometown area opening for major acts when they come to town. There has been a small buzz floating around about the band. Keep your eyes peeled. We may just see Bereavement climbing the ladder of success in the near future, but like other before, some talent goes unnoticed. Look into this band and support their efforts.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Shane Wolfensberger
November 27th, 2007

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