Torrens Conscientium
Alone With All the Thoughts

I might be picking in the wrong season here.  I’m growing a crop of doom/death when the weather consistently lures me towards faster riffs, heavy groove abandon or something that will have me speeding down the highway at 100 mph and swerving between lanes.  The Ukraine’s Torrens Conscientium are not exactly band, but you know what they’re pretty fuckin’ good and intense in their own right, giving a classic take on this autumnal headspace while interjecting a nice flux of tempos throughout.

An obligatory intro is provided thanks to “When the Day is Gone,” desolate keys, cavernous backdrops, subtle Goblin-esque layers and whispered vocals helped add a little more meat to the bones than most bands are willing to do with a piece like this.  “The Black Fog” lives up to its title; kicking off with suffocating blanket of melodic riffage that’s unafraid of a little dirt under its nails, this writhing beast isn’t afraid to coil and crush you like a mutant anaconda.  In certain segments the music drops off into a canyon of minimalism relying on only a few musical note, hushed vocals, synths and lavish guitar melodies.  If this was an unreleased cut off of Among Majestic Ruin or Solinari, I wouldn’t have been surprised right down to the gutsy death metal growls, sparsely used higher sneers and turbulent tempo changes.  Damnation riffage whips into a crumbling, mid-tempo death metal urgency backed by double-kick and bass lines that showcase an attack element.  The swirls of psychedelic, plaintive instrumentation keep the atmosphere heady instead of strictly heavy, culminating with a climactic riff that’ll be sure to end a life or two.

I’d venture all eras of Paradise Lost, Anathema and My Dying Bride inspired the massive “Immersion.”  Additionally, I’ll also venture a guess that Skepticism’s deathbed crush and Rapture’s shimmering ambience come into play as the song makes a steady climb up Everest in the midst of an avalanche.  The heaving, burden bearing riffs, surprisingly violent outbursts of infernal anger and steady melodic building creates the feel of trudging headfirst into life threatening elements for the greater good of survival.  Those tuneful, diamond sharp leads perform a glorious lobotomy, leaving your frontal lobe open for deadly riff penetration as the rhythm section and keyboards keep you sedate during the operation.  Teeming with guitar-work bathed in reverb, delay and echo, “A Evening Behind” is soaring and uplifting yet depressing and dismayed like a prime Pink Floyd opus during its extended intro.  Eventually, all sense of softness is usurped by voracious vocal spew, infinite doom and a terminal infection both sludgy and melancholic.

“Hitcher” immediately takes a chunk out of you, laying into what feels like a climax right from the get go.  Dirty, death metal groove ascends to triumphant melo-doom riffing that doesn’t hold back the hostility.  Synth accoutrements are delegated to the background initially (later rising to a mighty caterwaul), the deed at hand a much darker, dirtier affair that works its way up to the trippy chords and gothic dread.

Surges of double-bass puncture the bottomed-out churns of “Being Lonely,” another piece constructed with a Frank Lloyd Wright level of detail.  The texturing is surreal to put it lightly and the descending, downward driven riffs entering at the 4:30 mark are one of the album’s loftiest highs.  Synths accent every note change with the bass remaining steadfast and the drumming exercising insane amounts of precision to keep the beat just above the flatline.  “The Dawn” ends the album on an electronic drone that is certainly charged with rays from the rising sun.

All Alone with the Thoughts is an accomplished first full-length effort for Torrens Conscientium.  You can hear what other bands the members probably dig, but they put their own stamp on the material.  The songs are lengthy, though not overly so and certainly never boring.  Fans of doom death with variety, melody and plenty of decisive blows should be into it.  Very good stuff for sure.

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jay S
May 29th, 2015

Comments

  1. Commented by: timmy

    I found this a little late too …. but it was one of my top 20 albums for last year! Glad to see it reviewed …. and Solitude Productions is not getting enough credit!!!


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