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Old Night - A Fracture in the Human Soul Award winner

Old Night
A Fracture in the Human Soul
by Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier at 17 June 2019, 4:42 AM

As far as I know, this is the first Doom Metal band I’ve heard from Croatia. Hell, as far as I know, this is first band I’ve heard from this area, period.  So does the country have what it takes to join the ranks of others who can produce quality Doom?  Presenting these five tracks from OLD NIGHT’s second full length album, “A Fracture In The Human Soul,” as evidence would point all signs to a major yes. The album’s length is very digestible at five tracks clocking in at about 44 minutes.  The first track is the longest at 10:54…this is long but not overly.  The album is epic in scope but not so much to take in at once that you can’t enjoy it on the fly but it is also one you can sit down and take your time absorbing.

OLD NIGHT’s style overall is Doom but this album displays a wide range of variety and styles, everything from classic style rock to even blues. Add in Prog and Ambient to the mix and you get an adventurous Doom Metal album that isn’t afraid to stretch itself outside the confines of the genre. In essence, “A Fracture In The Human Soul,”  is a deep, emotionally charged album that has a lot to say and rewards the listener the more they listen. But it isn’t just the longer songs and unconventional structures that gives the album such a larger than life sound but the music itself.  With three guitar players, there are so many moments that happen in layers that reveal themselves like a snake being uncoiled.

The first track, “Entwined,” begins life with quiet tones and an ominous bell before clean guitar chords pierce the ambiance.  This portion of the song is propelled by Luka's bass, deep tones that standout among the other instruments without being overbearing. Matej's vocals are some of the best I have heard all year in Doom.  His clean vocal approach is so smooth and clear, he glides effortlessly among all the music that is going on yet it also has heavy emotional weight with expressive tones that are a joy to hear.  The guitar solo around the 3:34 mark is serene yet severe but made all the more potent by the heavy riffs and clean guitar that boost it.  The band is at their best when all three guitars work together.  Nikola's drums and the already mentioned bass blend well with them, keeping up the rhythm and flow without being buried by so much other music.

The melodic moment around the seven minute mark shows their Progressive undertones and when the vocals return once again, I got chill such– is the glorious burden the band places on the listener: open up your mind, your very heart and soul and let the music take you away. The second track, “Hearken and Remember,” is a bit more Gothic in the approach especially with the guitars towards the last few minutes of the song.  The first half of the track devotes a lot of time to a heavy main riff that adds a bit of texture to the structure, keeping the Metal flowing while the band weaves in and out of their many styles.

The third track, “Elder,” is a fine song, very blusey and melodic.  However, at just over four minutes in length it just doesn’t contain the depth and multiple arrangements the other four tracks contain.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but I much preferred the other songs. The fourth track, “Glacial,” is possibly the best on the album.  As the name would suggest, the song goes at a slow pace building up as it goes along, collecting layers and more intricate parts as it gains mass.  The guitar solos are breath taking is their ability to fill up the space in the sound with sweeping, almost cinematic feeling. Some of the album’s heaviest riffs and most melodic portions come to life in the eight and a half minute journey, especially towards the end.

The Reaping of Hearts,” is the final track and opens with a melodic twist of the guitars.  The opening moments are a bit more ambient than the tracks before but still find use for extremely dense riffs.  The song works great with the way it alternates between light and heavy moments; the crescendo of riffs and solos at the end is a great cap off to this amazing album. OLD NIGHT’s “A Fracture In The Human Soul,” is a Doom Metal album that doesn’t use heavy handed “in your face” moments to bring about its heavy nature.  The music on this album is more subtle in its approach to creating another dimension. Perhaps it could be a tad more aggressive or dark in places but, ultimately,  any fan of Doom will love this album but I think even non metal fans in general could at least appreciate it.

Songwriting:9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Entwined
2. Hearken and Remember
3. Elder
4. Glacial
5. The Reaping of Hearts
Lineup:
Luka Petrovic – Bass, Vocals
Nikola Jovanovic – Drums
Bojan Frlan – Guitars (Lead)
Ivan Hanzek – Guitars (Lead), Vocals
Matej Hanzek – Vocals (Lead), Guitars
Record Label: Rain Without End
     


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