Athvarf - Elegies
What can be expected from a funeral doom metal album? Ovid's Amores? Hardly. It somehow feels unnecessary to fall back on this topic. Sadly, this aspect is not limited to the album title, because also the opener points into this direction. Anyway.
The debut ep of the Romanian funeral doom metal band is solid. Solid in the sense that it does not suck that much, but nothing more than solid because it fails to leave something tangible and fascinating. At least the atmosphere is not bad and has some nice moments, but this aspect alone is not enough to keep it moving along.
And this is somewhat sad, because the first minutes of this release are actually promising. The build-up is nice, the use of the violin adds a nice nuance to the sound and also the vocals fit into the overall setup. Sadly, the longer the track progresses the more it appears to loose a bit of its focus and is unable to maintain that with which it has opened. There is nothing else to maintain it, there is nothing to keep it all up and the music moves therefore slightly into the realm of blandness. As can be expected, some slight flaws in the production add their share to this impression. Nevertheless, the idea of this atmospheric approach is rather nice.
"Oblivion's Fall", the second and last track is only a very schematic piece of funeral doom metal and creates the impression as if it would fall into the narration trap. Too many vocals, too large a focus on them at times and this odd slow narration type, which sets the mood and dynamics. While Athvarf attempts to invoke some of the atmosphere of the first track, it is not able to do so on such a degree in this case.
Some nice ideas can be found on this release, but they need polishing in order to get them to shine and leave a mark. While it may be the band's first ep, parts of it are actually not that bad.