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Shores Of Null – Beyond the Shores (On Death and Dying) Award winner

Shores Of Null
Beyond the Shores (On Death and Dying)
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 19 November 2020, 2:04 AM

SHORES OF NULL is a doom metal band from Italy, formed in 2013.  Their newest album, “Beyond the Shores (On Death and Dying)” is their third full length album. The band is actually a recent discovery of mine, this review promo being the first time I’ve heard their music.  As I always try to do when reviewing bands I’m not familiar with, I went back and listened to their previous two albums.   The way they blend in other elements into their doom, such as melodic death and black metal, is rather convincing and I have to say that all three of their albums are well worth listening to.  With that being said, “Beyond The Shores” is definitely a step up for the band and will no doubt begin a new era of success for them.  In every metric you could judge an album on, the band has improved their craft.

Unlike their first two albums that were the standard collection of songs, this new album does something different.  “Beyond The Shores,” is an album of just one song, with a run time of thirty-eight minutes and twenty-five seconds—and it is all on one track.  Of course, this idea is very well known especially in progressive and doom sub genres but I don’t know if it has ever been done this well in terms of song structure and flow. In just about every album I’ve heard with the “one song” concept, it has never truly felt altogether whole.  Even on those albums I enjoyed, it always sounded to me that it was obvious the songs were seen as separate and held together with bare threads, such as DREAM THEATER’s “Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence,” for example. That is a great album but the epic song is disjointed—this isn’t a problem I encountered with “Beyond the Shores (On Death and Dying).”

From the opening seconds down to the very last note, this is an album that is seamless. I couldn't for the life of me decide where to even place a numbered track list, which may be why it stayed only as one track. Some may balk at the idea of not being able to quickly jump to their favorite part but it didn't bother me in the slightest. This is a singular experience, best enjoyed from beginning to end without stopping. Besides, with modern music apps, anyone can quickly jump to their favorite part should they choose so. But I think doom fans (and we are a loyal, detailed bunch), will want to listen to the way it was meant to be.

And why not? There is just so much content within the time frame to enjoy. I simply didn't want to skip around because the entire experience in insanely engrossing. I have a decent length commute to and from work, which affords me a lot of music listening. My black player has given me the statistic that I jammed this beast of a record 14 times before I wrote this review. And you know what? With all the time I've got out of this album, I am still finding new things that catch my ear. Boredom or weariness are things that have not set in while listening. And how could they? While I was experiencing this album, I dived head first into a pool of emotions. Any other listener will no doubt be thrown in a world where light, dark, soft, and heavy meet. I could spend more time writing adjectives but I'll spare you that and just tell you the wide spectrum of every thing life and death contains is presented.

Heavy winds of an approaching storm start off this journey. Gentle sounds that reveal themselves to be violins pierce through the howling. A heavy back drop of guitars hangs over the movement like a weight tied around the waist as you sink further into the depths. The clean vocals that appear soon after are clear and powerful but strained with pained emotion. The lead melodies after the first stanza do little to pierce the veil of the destitute melancholy. The death growls threaten to sweep it all away with their immensity but they serve as another anchor to tether all the emotional weight to.  At 7:34 the song changes with the drums laying the foundation for the guitars to throw down some down trodden and muddy groove. The cleans here are of a spoken word, a sermon of misery.

Another transition happens at 9:40 with melodic start and stop riffs alongside the drums that crash the cymbals to resounding effect. This portion itself adds in little details here and there like extra guitar and flourishing of drums before the return of the cleans. The repetition of the lyrics here is annoying but some might not mind it as it gives some "catchy" factor to a rather sprawling album. The album's middle portion is a dark dirge of beauty consisting of clean instruments, lead guitar, heavy doom riffs and cleans vocals as wide as a room and tall as a mountain. The INNO vocalist Elisabetta Marchetti sings in these segments and her voice just works so exceptionally well. The clean keys fall like little drops of rain before choppy riffs rip up the path.

Around the twenty four minute mark is what doom metal is all about: thick atmosphere, crushing riffs and the vocals to back it all up. A passage that wouldn't sound out of place on a black metal album rears its monstrous heads towards the end before the song finishes with the sounds of a storm. Considering the album already spent time on these ambient sounds in the beginning, I'd rather have a little more music to enjoy at the end but Im being picky at this point so I’m gonna stop this review so you'll go buy the album instead of listening to me.

In short, SHORES OF NULL's "Beyond The Shores (On Death and Dying)” is a near perfect, monumental achievement of doom.  I can't imagine any fan of the style not finding something here to enjoy.

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

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Beyond the Shores (On Death and Dying)
Lineup:
Matteo Capozucca – Bass
Emiliano Cantiano – Drums
Gabriele Giaccari – Guitars
Raffaele Colace – Guitars
Davide Straccione – Vocals
Record Label: Spikerot Records
     


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Edited 03 December 2020
 

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