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Gloom - Awaken

by Eric Poulin at 12 May 2020, 4:11 AM

GLOOM is a Gothic Metal band, from Sabinov, Prešov, Slovakia and was formed back in 2001. This is their third full-length released entitled “Awaken” on April 8th, 2020 through the Slovak Metal Army label. A little over 20 years ago, I started having an interest in the gothic metal genre, and experimented my listening habits from bands like MOONSPELL, SENTENCED, TYPE O NEGATIVE, TRISTANIA, CREMATORY, TIAMAT, PARADISE LOST and so many others. The genre itself unfortunately became rather stale by the mid-2000s, with bands going down the electronic route and over-using the female operatic vocals. It has been quite some time since I have listened to a project in this genre, let alone perform a review.

The album starts off with “Feel the Pain” has a great range of melodies and good use of the keyboards. What is really a key element however is the strong vocal style of Martin Pazdera, which is reminiscent of PARADISE LOST, especially from the “One Second” album. The song does not go into any complex areas, which is not a bad thing, it is straightforward and has all the makings of being an excellent single. “Everything Ends” is based more on ambiance with the keyboard being much more prominent. I do not wish to repeat myself, but the overall structure of the song and its tempo is something I remember from the SENTENCED album “Crimson”. The slower tempo obviously brings less of the guitar melodies in favor of more feeling in the chorus and the lyrics.

Speaking of the Finnish legends of the melancholic/gothic style, the following track is a cover song entitled “Bleed in My Arms”. There is definitely a more modern style to this version (while keeping the essence of the original) and the guitar sound is slightly different. The chorus actually sounds stronger here if you compare it to the original. There are more variations in the vocals as well that shows the strengths of this band. “Fragments of Life” really dives deep into the more dramatic side of the genre with very loud piano notes. There is some use of more atmospheric and symphonic elements in this one that blends in well with the mood of the track.  “Broken” borrows some of the preceding song, except it adds some acoustic guitars into the mix and more heartfelt lyrical content.

I would say one of the other standout tracks is “Hollow” that has a faster overall tempo and embodies everything I used to enjoy from the gothic genre. It has simple riffing and the perfect progressions into a memorable chorus, where guitar notes and ambiance become one. As I mentioned earlier in the review, it had been a while since I had listened to anything remotely close to this genre and I am glad to say I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the album. Does it break new ground in a style that has been around for nearly 30 years, maybe not, but it uses so many different influences and carries the flame forward into the 2020's. The production is top-notch and the musicianship is of a very high quality, so if you have been missing this category of music over the last few years, this would be a good place to start !

Songwriting:  8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Feel the Pain
2. Everything Ends
3. Bleed in My Arms
4. Fragments of Life
5. Broken
6. Hollow
7. Lovecry
8. Epilogue
9. Noose
Radoslav Priputen - Drums
Igor Tinák- Guitars
Martin Pazdera - Vocals
Miroslav Maľcovský - Bass
Record Label: Slovak Metal Army


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