Passion of Depression

I have probably said it before but when it comes to this time of the year I am always thankful that here, at the ol’ Teeth of the Divine, we don’t worry about publishing a best of the year list as soon as possible. No folks, we actually let the year play out as to not miss out on some big and/or deserved of acknowledgement release, that otherwise would have been entirely overlooked by first of Autumn deadlines.

A most perfect case in point would be Lamentations‘ just released sophomore album, Passion of Depression. While the album came at me totally out of left field, as I am previously unfamiliar with the band, I can definitely assure you that it will be on my list of best albums of 2022. In fact, it just may very well claim the number one spot.

Applying an equally impressive mix of both progressive and technical death metal, Lamentations present a style that is pure bliss to my ears. Imagine a project where the collaborative talents of Paul Masvidal, Mikael Åkerfeldt, Steve Tucker, and ICS Vortex came to fruition in a supergroup of the unfathomable. If you can wrap your head around that, then you pretty much understand what Lamentations brings to the table. Sure, saying that they sound like a mix of Cynic and Opeth with late 90’s to early 2000’s era Morbid Angel and Borknagar vocals may seem like a common, death metal man’s way of describing such an amazing showmanship of extremity, but shit man, if that description doesn’t pique your interest, then I don’t know what will.

Just a few minutes shy from being an hour long affair, Passion of Depression manages to keep the listener fully engaged at all times and never does the album seem long in the tooth or guilty of overstaying its welcome. While the aforementioned influences are clearly noticeable the band also brings a quality of acts such as Extol, Black Crown Initiate, Archspire, Psycroptic and of course Monotheist, whom Lamentations share  pretty much every member  with on Passion… So impressive are the tracks of Passion of Depression, that I’ll kiss my own ass if you can find one song that actually stands above the other. No sir, this album is seven tracks of pure excellence, each standing on their own identity and integrity, but honestly, working marvelously together as whole in bringing quite an enthralling experience to the listener. Hell, turn down the lights and throw this bad boy on your headphones and your likely to transcend  and hallucinate some wild shit. That says a lot, considering that the majority of Passion... is some ferocious death metal.

Proficient and skillful masters of their craft, Passion of Depression is uplifting, melodic, and memorable right from the onset. The textures woven throughout each track create a kaleidoscope of possibilities, never knowing what twist or turn may come next, what peak or valley lays ahead. The juxtaposition of beauty and beast are transposed flawlessly and with such a natural and progressive flow. You, get an “80 days around the world” experience in every moment on Passion…, quite an impressive feat. Like I stated earlier, there are no songs that truly outshine the other here, no filler to be found, just pure technical and emotional brilliance that deserves to be heard. Huge riffs, mammoth grooves, fantastic leads and melodic flourishings, thoughtful and intelligently busy bass and drumwork, and vocal performances that can bring a tear to your eye as well as a fist to someone’s face.

This album is the real deal my friends, and to try and break down the tracks or even focus on  one or two parts of them is honestly, insulting. This album, these songs, they deserve to be treated as a proper listening experience, unmolested by intense critique, as to have you develop your own bond. Just trust me, this is an album you need and it actually excites me to think of others hearing this from start to finish for the first time and being engulfed in its immensity and awesomeness.

Major accolades to Lamentations main man and mastermind, Danny “Jungle” Jacob for surrounding himself with such a great line up as to bring his creations to brilliant fruition and for keeping everything genuine. With guest spots from the likes of Max Phelps (Cynic, Death DTA), Ethan McKenna (Black Crown Initiate), Ole Børud (Extol, Fleshkiller), Jason Globel (Cynic), and  Santiago Dobles (Aghora, Pestilence, Cynic),  one might think there is simply just too much and too many involved for Passion… to truly be cohesive, but fret not, like I just  mentioned, this is an album you need.

Sure, I guess I could have mentioned some individual traits of certain tracks, like that groove (that fucking groove!) at the 1:39 mark of “Shiver” that eventually leads into clean vocals of beauty and serenity before brilliant synths mix with brutal gutturals and the track again shifts into fields of tranquil transcendence and virtuosity. Yet that’s just an inkling of what is to be found within the almost ten minutes of said track, much less all across the entire album.

If you thought you had your “best of” or favorite albums of the year figured out, and you haven’t had a chance to indulge in Passion of Depression yet, well you’re going to be pissed. Don’t worry though because that pissed off feeling will soon be replaced with awe and joy at what Lamentations brings to your ears. Yeah, it might bring a bit of sadness too when you realize whatever album you thought was the ultimate tits this year is pale in comparison to Passion of Depression, but you know what they say…”you win some and you lose some.” Thankfully for us, Lamentations and Passion of Depression is a winner winner all the way around.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kristofor Allred
December 21st, 2022


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