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Sunken - From Slow Sleep Like Death

Sunken
From Slow Sleep Like Death
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 05 August 2020, 4:27 AM

SUNKEN is a Finnish Doom/Death band and "Slow Death Like Sleep" is their debut album. There isn't a genre like doom or a country like Finland that nails melancholy so, as expected, this album doubles down on the melodic sadness. It's also really good at it too. The music is thick and moves at a glacial speed, for the most part. Despite their lumbering sound, the album has a decent pace because each song unfolds so well and is placed in the track list exactly where it needs to be.  What impresses me the most about “Slow Death Like Sleep,” is the composition of the album itself. A lot of albums use tracks as a means to justify the ending of a greater whole, or only focus on a few tracks and not the over all picture.  This album, however, is equally adapt at being one to listen straight thru or as individual songs.

Keranen’s talent at using guitar leads and melody to accent even the darkest parts of the song is remarkable and keeps the songs emotional and poignant.  He definitely adds a Gothic style to the songs but it just feels so natural.The opening track, “Unfalter,” shows this around the minute and a half mark with melodic leads passing over the rhythm guitar, finding its way in and out of the passage smoothly.  At the 4:10 mark, the song suddenly speeds up with rapid fire riffs and deep growls to forgo the melancholy for outright brutality.  This is a strong opener in that it shows exactly what the band sounds like and how quickly they can turn on a dime, if need be.

Island,” begins with melodic waves and penetrating bass that comes at the ears with a Gothic, serene approach, an atmosphere the death growls work well inside of.  The mood of the song grows darker about halfway thru and the drums kick it up a notch, complimenting the change. “Sore Light,” is a song that opens with an intense growl and it just gets more harrowing from there.  The slower paced, grinding death metal riffs coupled with the growls make the song the heaviest and most desolate.  The melodic section that comes afterwards only adds to the desperation and hopelessness. Towards the end, the song really opens up for an epic finish that has a slight post-metal feel to it, what with the way the band just jams out on the riffs.

Unfalter,” started the album out strongly but the final track, “Dolor Sunlight,” ends it with an eleven and a half minute doom metal tour de force.  The beginning moments consist of bass taking strong, clean hits with the guitar coming in behind them for a light ambient touch.  The guitars come in a minute later for a wide blanket of heaviness that just lays on top of it all.  Already this track is a sonic monolith.  The riffs carry the song into the melody, which takes over and assumes a detached but powerful and raw melodic performance.  This leads into the choppy rhythm guitar and the brutally deep vocals, the song just getting heavier as it goes. Another melodic passage is born out of this, flowing smoothly into a guitar solo that, in turn, leads back into more doom oriented riffs.

SUNKEN’s “From Slow Sleep Like Death,” is just what a death/doom album should be: darkly emotive and heavy as a planet but the exceptional song writing and compositional skills make this monstrous journey a very cohesive one.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Unfalter
2. Sanctuary
3. Island
4. Lost Caress
5. Severed Memory
6. Sore Light
7. Unspoken Misery
8. Dolor Sunlit
Lineup:
Keranen – Lead Guitar
Jokipii – Vocals & Rhythm Guitar
Korpi – Drums & Screams
Tuomi – Bass & Screams
Record Label: Argonauta Records
     


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