Bereavement (United States Of America, Pennsylvania) – The Advent Of Loss

I quite like this album. An unusual amount, actually, considering the nature of the music here. Bereavement almost reminds me of a band like Dark Lunacy minus the symphonic touches; it’s dark, melodic, atmospheric death metal with a very professional and theatrical style. In fact, I’m liking this album more and more with every listen; there’s a subtlety to its emotional delivery and musical variety that’s very pleasing to the ear. It often seems to me that music delivered in an openly emotional and melodic fashion often collapses under the weight of its own drama, but Bereavement pulls off its style effectively and without ever slipping into cheese or similarly ignominious territory.

There’s a lot of bands this resembles; I guess the best reference would be the atmosphere of melodic doom/death bands like My Dying Bride, just minus the doom. The dark, melancholic, somewhat gothic atmosphere is kept, but the tempo is pretty high overall, with lots of speedy drumming and dancing, acrobatic solos to keep the listener occupied. These more aggressive moments are tempered by acoustic sections that resemble Opeth greatly, except being much better employed in the overall scheme of the music. In fact, Opeth might just be the biggest reference point to this music, though Bereavement is more straightforward and metallic than that artist. There’s a slight prog edge to the riffing’s melodic sense that’s a nice change of pace from the fairly traditional style overall; the employment of somewhat atypical chord shapes and other small additions really add another layer to the songs.

I guess the best testament to the quality of this album is that it has no real weaknesses. There are things that could be improved, of course, like nearly all things in the world: the production could have a bit more punch, some of the riffs could be a bit more varied, and other such minor complaints, but there’s really nothing serious to criticize. All the songs are pleasing and unique and a good listen both individually and in the context of the album. The usage of clean and acoustic guitars are beautifully employed in the structure of the songs, the heavier riffs are aggressive yet emotional, and the guitar solos are some of the best in the style, with a technique that’s both virtuostic and genuinely memorable. The vocals are emotional and powerful in both clean and harsh modes, and the drumming is fill-laden and impeccably timed. It’s all just very good music.

I have no doubt that Bereavement will be signed in the near future. They already exhibit the songwriting talent of numerous bands their senior, and the delivery of their music is very convincing and gripping throughout. ‘The Advent Of Loss’ is a great album for any fan of melodic death metal, and is easily one of my favorite melodic death releases of the year. I really like this, and I think you will too.

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~ by noktorn on November 5, 2007.

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