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Red Moon Architect – Emptiness Weighs The Most Award winner

Red Moon Architect
Emptiness Weighs The Most
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 25 October 2020, 5:20 AM

RED MOON ARCHITECT is a melodic death/doom band from Finland.  “Emptiness Weighs The Most,” is their fifth full length album. I was hoping the band would continue with previous album, “Kuura,” more funeral doom sound but "Emptiness Weighs The Most," their fifth full length album, sees the band returning to its melodic death/doom roots. Although I still feel their sound is perfect for funeral doom, I need not fret because there is a lot to love about this album.

The best aspect of the album is how complete is sounds. What do I mean by that exactly?  Well, with the obvious exception of the intro track, "Hidden," each song is an anthem of doom metal. They are perfectly balanced for time, aggression and melody which makes each track seem like a world within itself. I can tell a lot of passion and hard work went into these songs.

After the album’s last note has faded into the distance, I really felt a strong sense of satisfaction. It is an album that says what is meant to be said and no less but also doesn't overstay its welcome. The album's title perfectly sums up the overall atmosphere of the album's sound: melancholic, sad, but expansive and epic.  Although obviously musically heavy, the emotional aspect really does place a crushing weight upon the chest: the grief and anguish across the album really hits hard but it is also the hints of letting go and acceptances that press the weight down further.  After letting of all these emotions and thoughts, the empty shell left behind can be just as much of a burden as the burden itself.  These thoughts, feelings, and the very human aspect of it all is captured exceedingly well on this album.

Much of that is owed to the two vocalists, Ville and Anni.  Their repertoire includes the classic “beauty and the best,” vocal style that was made famous years ago by bands like TRISTANIA and THEATRE OF TRAGEDY.  While some may have grown tired of that still often used style, it doesn’t bother me and, if I’m being super honest, I have yet to grow tired of it even after twenty years of listening to metal.  Besides, this band pulls it off so well.  Ville isn’t going to win any rewards for an outstanding range but his vocals are near inhuman: deep and tortured growls that cut down to the bone.  Anni’s vocals , of course, have more dimension and definitely give the band a Gothic aspect.  Her often times ethereal vocals are a pleasure to hear and are the perfect counterweight to the melancholic heaviness she is surrounded by.

After the intro, which is nothing more than a short time waster, the first real track, “Chained,” hits.  The riffs tow the line between raw doom aggression and more melodic waters.  Despite how sorrowful and just plain down trodden the band can get, this is still very much a guitar focused album.  I really appreciate that aspect as it keeps the songs moving forward without too many lulls The keys are a bit more subtle and sprinkle themselves throughout the song to add small but effective highlights.

Rise,” is one of my favorites on the album and it takes me back to my burgeoning days when I was just beginning to quit listening to all the radio rock and discovering metal and its myriad sub genres. Gothic flavored metal was one of the first styles that really grabbed me and “Rise,” gives me that same feeling.  Anni’s chorus is insanely catchy and Ville’s death growls are depraved.  What more could I, or anyone else, want in a death doom song?  “One Shines Brighter,” is brought to life by the exceptional use of clean keys that are simple but very, very effective.  Honestly, the song wouldn’t be the same without them.  The quiet and depressingly serene backdrop they provide is the perfect vehicle for Anni’s vocal patterns.  These clean keys also make the distortion even more heavy and bring further to life Ville’s growls.

Into The Light,” melds the guitars and keys together for a giant wall of doom sound—on my headphones, the opening 42 seconds sounds very all encompassing.  The bass and drums are clever enough to know when to make a presence during the Gothic laced stanzas but get, and rightfully so, more heavy handed when the heavier aspects of the song make their presence known.  “My Beloved,” ends the album perfectly.  The first half of it plays sort of like a ballad, albeit a very dark and disturbing one. The song picks up more layers as it goes along, changing to Gothic doom textures that find near perfect synergy.  This entire song is sang by Anni, which is cool, since “Chained,” only featured Ville…very nice balance.

Despite my own desires wanting this to expand upon what “Kuura,” offered, I found myself not missing the funeral doom anymore and fulling embracing the band’s more signature sound again.  Fans of the band won’t find “Emptiness Weighs The Most,” to be disappointing and I can see this album pulling in many new fans for their growing legion.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Hidden
2. Chained
3. Rise
4. Dethrone The Darkness
5. One Shines Brighter
6. Muse
7. Into The Light
8. Reform
9. My Beloved
Lineup:
Saku Moilanen - Drums, Keyboards
Ville Rutanen - Vocals
Pyry Hanski - Guitars
Taneli Jämsä - Guitars
Anni Valkonen - Vocals
Jukka Jauhiainen - Bass
Record Label: Noble Demon
     


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Edited 24 September 2021
 

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