Sunday, January 4, 2009

Bilocate - Sudden Death Syndrome (2008)

While I consider myself a worldly metal fan, I haven't heard much coming out of Jordan, so I was kind of surprised by the quality of this doom/dark metal band's sophomore effort. They play a hybrid of death and doom with some progressive elements, dowsed in a lot of keyboard atmospheres. The result is something quite powerful and creepy, and reminded me a little of Opeth and the more progressive Dan Swano/Edge of Sanity stuff. I think it would also appeal to fans of Russian Lefthander's Raxa project.

"Humans and the Dark Affiliation" sets the pace with its acoustic guitars, percussion and haunting New Age feel. "Blooded Forest" begins with a haunting guitar trill set into a dense atmosphere, and then comes forth the growling. This track is over 17 minutes long so it does give you that Opeth feeling of 'the epic', yet it never becomes dull whatsoever, and there are numerable great riffs. "The Dead Sea" is a shorter, glorious piece with a nice lead. "Ebtehal" begins with a graceful acoustic segment before collapsing into beautiful doom. "Inoculate" is a flowing, gorgeous progression of chugging guitars and keyboards. "Pure Wicked Sins" is the slowest and most doomy track here, and the album closes as it began with another instrumental "The Stone of Hate".

The material sounds quite good, the synths and percussion merge flawlessly into the guitar riffs and the vocals top it off with the proper air of desolation. This album thrives off the atmosphere it creates, taking you along for a voyage into the dark underside of humanity. You get a haunted feeling from their compositions, but not in a sillier sense as, say, Gloomy Grim. The entire experience is quite dark, somber, and moving.

Very much recommended!

Verdict: Win [8.5/10]

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