Sullen Guest
Chapter III

I had no idea Lithuania had such a diamond in the rough band – Sullen Guest, an excellent doom/death band.  The band’s debut 2015 ep Will You Greet the Sullen Guest as an Old Friend? was a great display of haunting doom/death and the female vocals really enhanced their sound. Their 2018 debut album IIIIXXI pushed the heaviness to the front a little more and the band had a female vocalist guest in certain parts, which really resonated with me.  Now with their new album Chapter III the band has a new vocalist who plays guitar, going by Inanitas.  No female vocals on this album, which is missed, however this a super strong sophomore album – no slump at all.

“Nothing Will Be Forgotten” has an old school Paradise Lost vibe, to these ears.  Think the Gothic album, in terms of the guitar tone, drums and plodding, depressing atmosphere.  The guitars here are heavier and with the deep vocals this is pure doom/death.  Some great riffing and guitar melodies.  Again, doom/death is a genre which can get a tad boring, for me at time, however Sullen Guest do not fall into this trap.  Especially when all the doom and gloom is center stage, but then the band goes into an atmospheric passage, only to return to that plodding heaviness and I stated this is some depressing shit.  Along with the growly vocals, the singer lets out some higher pitches rasps, which work well, sounding as if he’s in severe anguish.  At 7.40 this is the longest song on the album.

Sullen Guest follows up with another 7 minute song – “Dewfall”.  Great double bass to start the song and excellent growly vocals.  The lead guitar melodies really pushes the emotive nature to the front, thus encapsulating the listener with these very cool moments.  There’s some nice rhythm moments going on, right before the 4 minute mark, with the dense riffs, double bass and the bass guitar really adds that undercurrent of heaviness, which you need for this genre.  The band then gets into an atmospheric section, before returning to that rumbling heaviness.

“Samsara” opens with more depressing riffs, double pass, deep and higher pitched vocals and this song is pretty slow, slower than the other tunes.  The song luckily stays away from the funeral doom genre, but Sullen Guest gets a little close in some parts, but luckily they do not embrace it – (sorry-I am not a funeral doom metal fan).  The song picks up a little speed, mid-paced, then the drum beat getting a little thrashy, meaning in the speed, but then it drops back down to the slower moments with some nice spoken word moments-adding a nice narrative piece to the song.  The isolated drumming towards the end is quite cool, with the guitars and spoken word moments returning.  Great song.

“October Lullaby” is an instrumental ending the album.  Great music, but lyrics and vocals could have totally been added to this piece.  Just my opinion, folks.  Sullen Guest’s Chapter III is a damn good album for doom/death metal fans equipped with killer album art.  Yes, you’ve heard this style and played better by the likes of Paradise Lost, Asphyx and My Dying Bride, however, I really enjoy this band.  This is heavy and super depressing.  Hopeless, despair-filled and played great.  What a great find and what a damn good album.

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
August 24th, 2021

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