Under The Influence #70: Exitium Sui on “Monotony Fields” by Shape of Despair!

Beginning life as a Black Metal projected called Raven in 1995 before changing their name and style three years later, Finnish Funeral Doom six piece Shape of Despair took their time over finding the sound they would eventually call their own. Their fourth studio album “Monotony Fields” was the first to feature vocalist Henri Koivula who had replaced ex-Amorphis frontman Pasi Koskinen four years earlier and was released in 2015 via Seasons Of Mist. It would also be the last to feature founding drummer Samu Ruotsalainen as he took a five year hiatus from the band. Produced by Max Kostermaa (Impaled Nazarene, Enochian Crescent) between 2013 and 2014 at City Lights Studio and S/Mental Studio, it’s a melancholic affair with morose guitar work and ambient synths wrapped in a sense of tragedy, the fire of which is only fueled by the contrast of Natalie Koskinen’s angelic harmonies and Koivula’s Death growls…

Exitium Sui comment: “Once my adrenal gland fatigues (this is a real condition I have), I generally fall into an emptiness I cannot control. This is where funeral doom comes in. I listened to a lot of post rock in my youth and sometimes need emptiness to accompany my moods. This record, to me, is perfect in every way. The vocals influenced my depth in sections and I was always so inspired by how something so big can be so sparse. I like to shift between doom to something more aggressive to create movement in tracks and Monotony Fields is my go to Album for doom. This way I also keep the doomy sections a little prettier in comparison to faster, more discordant sections. If I could write another way, maybe I would. I don’t write music for a live environment. Recreating this story live is another art form altogether. But I’m stuck in this body and hyper volatile mind. Maybe one day it will change, maybe when I grow older. Only time will tell.

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