Desolate Shrine – The Sanctum of Human Darkness

The short days and long winter season must really torment the Finns, for here is yet another band that strikes out at the world from their twilight kingdom with sonic misery and death-spair. Desolate Shrine’s second full-length, “The Sanctum of Human Darkness” is pretty difficult to fully embrace initially, for the dark and cavernous layering makes this album feel like a nightmare. Riffs boil and churn together in a nest of overdriven reverb, with the drums and the equally effected death moans acting as the main forces peeking through like an island in the storm for the listener to find refuge on. When note based riff ideas surface in the distortion, harmonic bends, or dissonant note choices rise and act as points of reference in your head that will mark the passage of certain songs on the album, allowing you to recall the moments again on future spins. I wouldn’t go as far to refer to these elements as “hooks”, for they are far and away from the true meaning of that adjective. “The Sanctum of Human Darkness” is actually a tough one to comprehend, but I must say there is something alluring about the nebulous swarm created by this band. I found it hypnotic and deeply sinister which greatly makes up for the fact there isn’t any of those cliché “good time” or traditional death metal songwriting elements on display. The cacophony is the spirit, dismay and brilliance of this material. When the guitars are stripped away on “Lair of Wolf & 1000 Lions (Nine Forgotten Name)”, allowing the drums and a poignant bass line to carry the foundation of this track, the result is almost jarring and profound. As the layers sweep back in, a melody tears through the meat of this track, making it a standout and offers more of a powerful impact. Not for the faint of heart, Desolate Shrine create devilish death metal that intends to hurt, or terrify the curious populace with their otherworldly adaptation of suffering through art. -Marty
Dark Descent Records

~ by martyworm on November 13, 2012.

One Response to “Desolate Shrine – The Sanctum of Human Darkness”

  1. […] Desolation Shrine – The Sanctum of Human Darkness To those of you wondering what Death Metal has left to say, I submit Desolation Shrine. The […]

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