Vessels of Light and Decay
Autumn is the most beautiful of seasons; The leaves are changing, dying, falling to earth. Shadows become long, and barren branches reach out towards marbled skies of grey and white clouds, floating atop winds of crisp, cool air, carrying the petrichor of freshly fallen rain. It is the season of death, and with it comes excruciating beauty. If there has ever been an album that has captured the sonic equivalent of autumn, it is UK-death/doom metallers Indesinence’s latest effort, 'Vessels of Light and Decay'.
Vessels of Light and Decay is, like Autumn, a journey through the realms of death and beauty. After an appropriately creepy intro ‘Flux’, Indesinence dive into the death/doom grave with 'Paradigms.' The first 3 minutes of this 14-plus minute track are a crawling, haunting funeral doom melody that suddenly erupts into grimy death metal. Vessels continues the death/doom assault with ‘Vanished is The Haze’, and 'Communion,' which has the quickest pace of the album, featuring a driving 2-beat drum pattern that brings to mind the classic sound of Sweden's early death metal scene. From there, 'La Madrugada Eterna,' a darkly ambient soundscape, serves as the bridge to the second half of the album.
The second half of Vessels is comprised of two long tracks. The first half, entitled ‘Fade (Further Beyond)', is driven by grinding double bass kicks and buzzing death metal riffage. Despite being the longest track on Vessels, ‘Fade (Further Beyond)’ is also the most visceral, providing near non-stop death/doom. The second half, ‘Unveiled,’ is a tortured funeral dirge. The vocals on here sound strained and tormented, and the entire fourteen minutes of this closing track are packed with ethereal melodies and some of the most densely atmospheric and resoundingly powerful passages on the entire album – a beam of sunshine piercing through blackened clouds.
'Vessels of Light and Decay' feels cold, and the ice-like clarity of the production adds to the frost-bitten malice reverberating off of ever riff and chord. Despite this, the record is extremely listenable, and although over 62 minutes in length, it is an extremely well-paced record; those without a predisposition to the funeral and death/doom subgeneres should have no issue devouring this album whole, and veterans will revel in the creativity and intensity Indesinence bring to every song.
There is so much to love about 'Vessels of Light and Decay'. From the subtle keyboard ambience and ringing church bells interspersed throughout the tracks, to the varied song structures and head-wrecking riffs, Indesinence manage to craft a palpable atmosphere of dread and dismay (and just a wisp of hope). It can be argued that there has been no greater year for doom music than 2012; a myriad of outstanding releases, reissues, and reunions have made this year one for the books, and this is the perfect end cap.
Posted: Tue 23 October 2012