Shores of Null
The Loss of Beauty

Many bands choose the self-released route nowadays, and I’m opting to believe Shores of Null is one of them. They’re far too consistently superb to not have attracted some attention from the larger metal labels, such as Century Media, Season of Mist, or Nuclear Blast. Their 4th full-length, The Loss of Beauty reinforces this.

Their blend of melancholic death doom is not necessarily a unique recipe, but they make it their own. It’s full of excellent, weeping melodies, and My Dying Bride-style vocal hooks. They waste no time once the first real track starts, “Destination Woe.” The opening lines make me feel like I’m listening to one of my favorite bands, Novembers Doom. The initial verse is also the hook and refrain, which is repeated throughout. This first track has all the makings of a classic in the genre. Tell me you don’t hear some Insomnium here, too.

One of the characteristics that make Shores of Null unique is they include some black metal tremolo-picked guitar passages, such as the main one in the next track, “The Last Flower.” The vocals so far have been emotive cleans, with some growls mixed in. The section beginning a little over 2 minutes into the track mixes these clean vocals with a blast beat, which is quite impactful. The end brings back the opening section of the track beautifully to complete it.

Further down the track list, after a short interlude, “A Nature in Disguise,” one of the longer tracks, officially begins with some remaining piano from that previously mentioned interlude. It has a great hook, which the band seems to be able to write with ease, but they also bring some heft. At the end of the chorus around 3 minutes in, the nasty, but perhaps too clean, riff calls for the growls to take over.

Of course, I have to talk about the closer, but also not (more on that later), which is called “A New Death is Born.” It’s surprisingly not one of the longer tracks on the album but in line with the others. It doesn’t hurt that it’s a highlight. Being chosen as a closer was a good move here, as it encompasses what the band does well, which is everything. Fast sections, growls, and sorrowful crooning are all on display. However, in the end, there are 15 seconds of silence.

Once that silence begins, one could be forgiven for thinking the album is over. It’s not, and that’s perhaps its most glaring flaw. The remaining two songs are good and certainly don’t take away from the experience. However, they’re just unnecessary. I suppose if you’re listening to digital or CD, you can skip them, so it’s not a big deal if you’re being extra needy and/or fussy. I choose not to skip them, but almost always have that same feeling every time I get to the end of “A New Death is Born.” Regardless of this, Shores of Null have released another impressive, moody, catchy songs. They should be a bigger deal in death doom, but metal as a whole. If you’re into the style, you absolutely must check this out.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
March 27th, 2023

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