Sunday, October 30, 2011

Shroud of Distress-Be Happy EP Review

1. Be Happy
2. Life Underestimated
3. Discolored Leaves
4. Signs

Shroud of Distress formed in 2010 and are quickly making themselves known within the depressive/blackgazing(shoegazing black metal) metal realm. Hailing from Germany, this quartet consists of M., Blackout, who are both on guitars, A. on bass, and N on vox and drumming.

Be Happy is the bands debut EP and quickly making an impression of the bands talent. Whilst there are literally thousands of clones out in the genre that just seem like bubble gum, Shroud of Distress is one band who seem to out maneuver many from the lot with its beautiful, awe-ing, yet dark and powerful melodics and sounds.

From the first riffs of Be Happy, the guitar sound and tones will capture the ear with some impressive guitar work that carries out throughout the track. The screaming out for help vocals add even more definition through the song lusting for endless bliss. Be Happy is sure an opener that will have you at attention as the EP continues. Life Underestimated, whilst it starts off with a quiet and slow sound of acoustic, is another track that satisfies the ear with its elusive riffs. This track demonstrates the powerful drumming and vox of N, while M and Blackout endure us with melancholic riffage. Some synth atmosphere is also introduced on this track but quickly fades though giving this track a nice dimensional sound and not too overexposed. It does its purpose just nicely. There is a lot of nice guitar work as the track ends and fades out. Soothing synths, acoustic strums, and audible bass bring forth the next track Discolored Leaves. This track brings reminiscence of an older Anathema track. once again the drumming and guitars steal the show but that's their purpose, right? Also the vox on this track sound more powerful and hateful and really outshine. Whilst this track is a bit repetitive, its a repetitive that will lure you more and more. Female vox is also introduced but its the not the main point of the song as it plays as a nice atmosphere in the background. And finally the 10+ minute track of Signs pretty much savors everything from all the tracks and unleashes it as a plague of locusts. It's not till the 3 minute mark where things pick up in aggressive, harsh, yet somber and bleak flow. The low grunty/screaming vocals definitely steal the show on this track displaying mournful and hopeless emotions. Again, I cannot reemphasize about the guitars, the musicianship is overall top notch. All is a silenced beginning at the 9 minute mark. At the 10 minute mark is when it picks up but I will spare you on that. It's pretty hilarious though and a fun way to end this outstanding EP.

Overall, excellent display of power and emotion on this debut EP. It really is hard to choose a favorite track because they are all powerful in their own alluring way. Fans of depressive and/or the blackgazing genre are sure to become fans of this lot. They deliver with the right sound and ingredients, which some bands fail to do in this genre to stand out. Shroud of Distress have surely made a new fan in me and hopefully they can make more with a listen to this debut EP, although it did leave me craving for more.

Myspace:Shroud of Distress
Facebook:Shroud of Distress
Reverbnation:Shroud of Distress

Review by Vyldr

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