Wednesday, November 20, 2019

DRIFT INTO BLACK ~ Anthems From The Darkest Winter [2019]

'ANTHEMS FROM THE DARKEST WINTER' is a release by Craig Rossi, long standing keyboardist of US Doom metal band Grey Skies Fallen and is his second full length. On it, Rossi takes on vocal, guitar and (obviously) keyboard duties and has recruited Klemen Markelj on drums while Paul LaPlaca handles bass.

Being so entrenched in the Grey Skies Fallen sound means that there are similarities between the two entities, but it's evident that on this release Rossi has morphed the GSF proggier doom sound in favour of a much harder, darker atmosphere creating a chilling tapestry of doom and death. And yet, ANTHEMS FROM THE DARKEST WINTER isn't a foreboding album to visit. It has a strangely upbeat groove that permeates the darkness aided by keyboards that, usually in this type of music, lay down a dominant, oppressive foundation, not dances and weaves around the heaviosity as they do on this album which serves to ensure that all the instruments and vocals aren't drowned in despair and instead, brought to the fore adding to the brutal deathly element.

Albums of this ilk can sometimes fall into the trap of being too symphonic or gothic, becoming pretentious in the process and can divide the fanbase into the two camps. ANTHEMS FROM THE DARKEST WINTER cleverly dodges such a trap by straddling both styles This is a more straightforward album and to my mind makes it sound heavier in the process, the riffs are solid, married to a pummeling rhythm section and dual vocal delivery of growling and clear vocals.

An interesting note. There is a cover of Pink Floyd's 'High Hopes' as the final track. Now I'm not Pink Floyd s biggest fan but I checked out the original and am happy to report that Drift Into Black have hammered it into oblivion.

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