Review: “Decade of Silence” by Depressed Mode

After two critically acclaimed albums in 2007’s “Ghosts of Devotion” and 2009’s “..for Death..” released via Firebox Records, Finnish Symphonic Doom infused Death Metal band Depressed Mode went on a seemingly unending hiatus. But after decade of silence from which the album takes its name,  mastermind Otto Salonen (vocals, orchestrations), begun composing a third album in January 2020 before being joined by Teemu Heinola (guitars) as the pair recorded and mixed at Ansa Studio during 2021 alongside Henri Hakala (bass) and Iiro Aittokoski (drums). Mastered by Mika Jussila (Children Of Bodom, Amorphis) at Finnvox Studios Helsinki, the albums sees Veronica Bordacchini from Fleshgod Apocalypse take  over the female vocals for the third album and appears on a trio of cuts.

Thirteen years feels like eternity between albums and so with Inverse Records at their side the band preceded “Decade of Silence” with a quartet of singles that quelled any doubts that the bands return would be anything but triumphant with all the hallmarks of the bands previously displayed sound for all of the World to see. The album comes to life with “Death Walks Among Us“, building atmosphere with symphonics of cinematic quality, scorching unclean vocals for a Blackened Symphonic Death Metal cut of supreme quality with echos of bands like Cradle Of Filth minus the shriller vocals. The Doom stylings then take hold with “Endless November” the first of the cuts to feature Veronica Bordacchini from Fleshgod Apocalypse and as her gloriously aching clean vocals intertwine with those of Salonen as would be star crossed lovers mourning their separation, it’s clear that Depressed Mode have picked up where they left off in 2010 as if they never departed. The dark beauty which they create with mournful and meloncholic touches like the icy keys of “As the Light Dims” ooze quality as the personal lyrics of Salonen speak of issues of a damaged mind and broken spirit that without having the woe is me aspect of Nu-Metal. Instead the gritty nature of the composition offers something that resonates with an emotive quality and with the vocal layering of the clean and unclean styles there is a real devil and angel push and pull to this one as it bleeds out, cathartically exposing the thoughts that consume those who suffer at a low ebb.

Fueled by sections Black Metal blasting of the highest order, “Parasites of Mind” then provides an adrenaline rush of hair raising excitement that blows away the mournful cobwebs while maintaining the atmosphere of oppressive darkness as Salonen questions his very existence. Each of these harrowing tales builds on the foundations of tragedy with a monolithic quality, building with slow burn and grinding the very life out of you, obliterating all hope and extinguishing all light. There are only a few moments that escape that fate and “Eternal Darkness” one of those surprise moments. A tempo shift up to embrace the flames of Death Metal with scalding uncleans dynamic rhythmic aggression, moves away from the shoegazing textures of Doom to the neck snapping power of the riffs, bejewelled by the Symphonic. Lyrically it escapes the personal and instead glances at the state of the World at humanities hand “Drain the Seas, cut down the Forests. build in Darkness the new world order”. The wave then comes crashing down with the 12 minute long “Aeternus“, the conclusion of the record once again embracing the capitivating and cinematic qualities with Salonen’s uncleans sounding like the demonic voice of a wrathful God from beyond the void. The dark majesty of it all is incredible, the sorrow is all consuming and the emotive nature of the album makes it a rewarding journey through the bowels of the hellscape of the troubled mind at the hands of masters of the songwriting craft [7.5/10]

Track Listing

  1. Death Walks Among Us
  2. Endless November (ft. Veronica Bordacchini of Fleshgod Apocalypse)
  3. Dissociation of the Extinguished Mind (ft. Jarkko Kokko of Mors Principium Est)
  4. As the Light Dims (ft. Veronica Bordacchini from Fleshgod Apocalypse)
  5. Parasites of Mind
  6. Kaamos (Land of Winter)
  7. Serpents
  8. Eternal Darkness (ft.Veronica Bordacchini from Fleshgod Apocalypse)
  9. Aeternus

Decade of Silence” by Depressed Mode is out 6th May 2022 via Inverse Records

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