Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The 11th Hour - Burden of Grief (2009)

This 11th Hour has nothing to do with Leonardo DiCaprio or the environment, instead it is a doom metal collaboration between two very busy men. In one corner, you have the prolific Rogga Johansson, he of the many Swedish death metal revival bands (Ribspreader, Demiurg, Revolting, Paganizer, Carve, and so forth). In the other, Ed Warby, of Gorefest, Demiurg, Hail of Bullets, and also many other projects. The two have taken time apart from their hectic schedules to co-author an album of traditional doom metal, with a mix of clean and growled vocals.

Burden of Grief has a huge production, but offers little by way of innovation (fans of Rogga's other bands know this just isn't going to happen anytime soon). The riffs are sufficiently crushing, but dull as far as note selection. The clean vocals are average, think Memory Garden or Candlemass without anything close to that range. The growls and grunts sound like...well, most other Rogga bands. "One Last Smoke" is a little silly to open the album, and at first I thought they were mocking the genre, but later tracks like "Origins of Mourning" and "Weep for Me" are far better, and the entire album is actually a concept about a dying character.

The 11th Hour is not about to call my attention away from any of my current doom rotation, but it's a decent enough project if you like death/doom with a professional, clean sound: Saattue, Memory Garden, Solitude Aeternus, and so forth. At no point did I actually feel 'the doom' while listening to this record, nor even a small amount of despair, but it is not unpleasant.

Highlights: Origins of Mourning, Weep for Me

Verdict: Indifference [6.5/10]


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