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The Sombre - Into the Beckoning Wilderness Award winner

The Sombre
Into the Beckoning Wilderness
by Daphne Minks Daly at 10 March 2021, 2:44 PM

Dutch metal master Maurice de Jong's debut album, “Into the Beckoning Wilderness, was released under THE SOMBRE in June of 2019. With only a limited number released under Chaos Records, the album sold out quickly. THE SOMBRE met with such immediate success that Chaos Records will be releasing a new edition of "Into the Beckoning Wilderness." Available March 22nd, 2021, the release will also be available on Bandcamp.

Laden with a deepened sense of sorrow, “Into the Beckoning Wilderness” is the work of just one person. However, that one person encompasses enough talent for many. Maurice de Jong's previous work with heavy-hitters, such as GOLDEN ASHES, GNAW THEIR TOUNGES, DE MAGIA VETERUM, HAGETISSE, and CLOAK OF ALTERING won him the respect of both fans and his peers.

THE SOMBRE is not by any means a repeat of anything de Jong has done before. This is a new spin on doom, but de Jong has only reimagined the doom-death metal subgenre boundaries, not removed them. There is still a clear nod to his doom and death metal roots. The artist is clearly still inspired by many of the early nineties' doom and death forerunners.

The album's opener, "Death in Black Cathedrals," begins with soothing, melodic strings, delicately placed and reminiscent of a simpler time. A beautifully set sinewy bassline entrances alongside a painfully sorrowful violin, while guitars shadow a romanticized sultriness. Maurice de Jong has an unmistakable foresight in his doom creations and a complete understanding of how doom should flow. Absolutely enchanting and without losing any ambiance, even when the gravely, growling vocals begin. Layered with mysticism, this reviewer couldn't help indulge the senses in a repeat of this 7 and a half minute doom dirge.

"A Storm of Black Poetry" has enough ambition and tenacity to satisfy any metal fan, even the pickiest subgenre purist. Diverse genre change-ups and intricately layered, every component of this song is intentional. This song is a work of art and one that won't ever grow old.

The title track, "Into the Beckoning Wilderness," is an intense powerhouse homage to post-black doom metal. Combining elements of multiple genres such a power groove metal and speed metal. It's an epic, atmospheric journey with incredible drops and beautiful instrumentation that beckons to be performed live.

A full-tilt into the gothic-doom-metal house of subgenres, "The Mother of Sin and Ruin," is fueled by darkness from the very first moment. Absolutely impeccable guitar work creates an alliance with thunderclap drums, and emotion-filled vocals add a perpetual sensation of dread. It's difficult to choose a favorite track on "Into the Beckoning Wilderness." But this one definitely makes it toward the top of the list.

Full of brooding ballast, this has everything an excellent doom record should have. This album presents itself as far more than a singular person project. Not only is it a strong album for the era, but one that will undoubtedly stand the test of time, as well. With unmissable regard for the importance of depth and dynamics, this album impresses from start to finish.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Death in Black Cathedrals
2. A Storm of Black Poetry
3. Into the Beckoning Wilderness
4. The Mother of Sin And Ruin
5. The Pallbearers Hymn
6. The Withered Return from the Dark
Lineup:
Maurice de Jong - All Instruments & Vocals
Record Label: Chaos Records
     


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Edited 05 August 2021
 

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