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Sadness - Ames de Marbre

Sadness
Ames de Marbre
by Martin Knap at 23 July 2018, 1:36 PM

It is great to discover albums about which one feels that they might have a long staying power or which might even one day be considered cult classics. One way of discovering music like that is through reissues – reissues of albums that have fallen through the cracks but may now be recovered from the ash heap of history. As of late I came across several noteworthy releases – “Kark” by PERISHED or “Time Ruins Also Beauty” by DISSOLVING OF PRODIGY for example – that I probably wouldn’t have heard of if there wasn’t a reissue. I’m always on a lookout for reissues like this: underrated albums that for one reason or other haven’t  gained the attention that they deserve. When I see a reissue of an album from the early 1990s that is being put into the Death/Doom category it immediately sparks my curiosity. So does SADNESS‘ first EP “Ames de Marbre” deserve our attention in 2018?

SADNESS was a Swiss band founded in 1989 that has put out two full-length albums and one EP before dissolving in 1998. It is being described as Death/Doom or Goth/Doom but they don’t sound like a copy of early Paradise Lost or the other “Peaceville Three” bands. The Death Metal side of their music was noticeably inspired by CELTIC FROST; the guitarist Chiva even had a CELTIC FROST inspired solo-project, so the connection seems to be quite evident. But appart from the CELTIC FROST riffs that we find in the songs SADNESS isn’t very Heavy Metal at all. There is more direct influence of Goth and New Wave music than in other the aforementioned British Death/Doom bands. The songs are often rather atmospheric and they have a certain "singer-songwrity" quality to them. Sometimes I‘m reminded of the experimental folk band CURRENT 93 for example.

The title song “Ames de Marbre” shifts between a ballad verse and an explosive, angry chorus that features harsh vocals. Overall the song is somber and plodding, there is a heavy part in its last third which features some mournful, heavy PARADISE LOST riffs, but also synths or samples that provide a more “experimental” ambiance. The rhythm guitar in the song “Leures” is distorted, but there is also a very clear sounding guitar melody intertwined with the riffs, that really offsets the heaviness. The next song “Opal Vault” is short and sweet and features a quite heavy CELTIC FROST riff. As in other songs we find nice key arrangements and guitar melodies, but the simple riffing can make the song feel a bit insipid.

Tears of Sorrow” is an almost 10 minutes long monster. The song starts slowly with dramatic singing over simple guitar chords, there is a long atmospheric section after which the song picks up with some heavier distorted riffs which are intertwined with a sorrowful, dreamy violin melody, the song culminates with a really heavy section, after which the song mellows out. The song has drama and development and also has some interesting experimental moments. “Red Script” has shifts between a mid-tempo and "doomy" sections, the song culminates with a really heavy Punk/Thrash riff, that really sounds like… you‘ve guessed it: CELTIC FROST. One interesting thing about this song is that we get to hear the demo version of it on the reissue, so the listener can see just how much the band drifted away from Death Metal between the release of the demo and their first album. The 35 minutes long album ends with a short ballad Goth song “Antofagasta”.

All in all, this is a really interesting release. It’s not for the Heavy Metal purist, but if you like weird, experimental music (like me) this you might come to like this album quite a bit. We find nice arrangements and good riffs on the song, but as I've said above, sometimes the riffs can be a bit rudimentary and the song can feel a bit like a snooze-fest sometimes. That being said, I‘m glad to see reissues of albums like this and I hope that my review will spark interest in the readers.

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

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Ames de Marbre
2. Lueurs
3. Tristessa
4. Opal Vault
5. Tears of Sorrow
6. Red Script
7. Antofagasta
Lineup:
Gradel – Drums
Chiva – Guitars, Piano
Steff – Guitars, Vocals
Andy – Bass, Vocals
Record Label: Vic Records
     


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Edited 06 December 2019
 

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