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Lorelei - Shadows Of October

Shadows Of October
by Lauren Fonto at 13 February 2018, 7:39 AM

“Shadows of October” is the second full-length by Russian gothic doom merchants LORELEI. Their band name is also shared by a rock on the eastern bank of the Rhine in Germany, as well as a feminine water spirit associated with the rock in folklore. This is the band’s first album in four years.

The music has a fragile, melancholy beauty to it, which manifests through the “crystal keys” courtesy of Marina Ignatovich. Her piano parts often serve to add to a sense of pathos on the tracks, such as on “Северный Берег” and “Canticum Angelorum”. In general, I felt that the second half of the album was where the band were at their best. It’s where the music has one of the factors I enjoy the most about doom metal, which is a sincere conveyance of deeply-felt emotion.

The title track, “Тени Октября”, opens with slowly picked riffs, which adds a melancholy, wistful feeling. The cymbal fills evoke a cascade of emotion all at once, as do the piano notes. The section with slower piano notes contrasts with the bends and slides of the guitars, creating a sense of conflict. The clean vocals near the end were a good surprise. “Северный Берег” picks up the pace somewhat, with soaring violins. The reverb-filled guitar riffs add a sense of mystery. The drum work is crisp (the production in general is well-mixed), and powerful. A quieter section with delicately-picked riffs provides variation in the heavy soundscape. The drawn-out vocals in the coda end the track on a powerful note.  “Темная Вода” creates a sense of fragility and sadness, with the tentative clean riffs in the intro, moving guitar riffs and vocals, and a section of slow guitar strumming. The piano break with “falling” notes adds pathos to the track. “Ноябрь” is a short, yet no less powerful interlude with moving piano counter-melodies. “Canticum Angelorum” ends things off beautifully. The piano parts (accurately described as “crystal keys” in the promo material) come together with bendy, distant guitar riffs and a brooding bass guitar part to create a moving listening experience. The strings near the end of the track give a sense of the divine.

I’d like to see more of what LORELEI did on the great second half of the album when they release their next album. The album as a whole grew on me, but the second half was what made me come to enjoy the album more. The band seems to have found just the right balance between the gothic elements and the death-doom elements.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Into…
2. Я - Северный Ветер
3. Морская
4. Сентябрь
5. И Тихо Вётлы Шелестят
6. Тени Октября
7. Северный Берег
8. Темная Вода
9. Ноябрь
10. Canticum Angelorum
Alexey Ignatovich – Guitars, Vocals (additional), Songwriting, Lyrics
Marina Ignatovich – Keyboards, Songwriting
Alexander Grischenko – Bass
Egor Loktev – Guitars, Vocals (additional)
Maria Kiverina – Vocals
Alexey Kuznetsov – Vocals 
Record Label: Solitude Productions


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