I’m a bit of a sucker for an old-fashioned funeral doom release, and Threshold Between Worlds from New Zealand’s Shallow Grave definitely falls into that category.
There’s just something very unassuming and pleasant about listening to a well-crafted doom composition, and, whether unique or not, I find Threshold Between Worlds to be a very enjoyable listen, perfectly suited for the autumn season that promises a long cold winter ahead. Not many folks have the patience for songs that last well over the five-minute mark, but I scoff because within the long compositions comes emotions written in the poetics of music. The atmosphere generated, the seamless synchronization between the reflective lyrics and music, and the varied powerful vocals in particular make Threshold Between Worlds quite a bewitching experience.
“The Horrendous Abyss” starts off slow, a grim warning perhaps, and it slowly and surreptitiously becomes louder as the down-tuned riffs gouge your nerve endings and the agonized vocals bare teeth. “Garden of Blood” is unabashedly aggressive, deep, dark and full of righteous pain until it fizzes out in a blaze of distortion. It sounds as though the devil is scratching at your soul, and at the very end, exhausted, you are perhaps creeping back into your muddy grave to drown in the wet earth among the worms. With “Master of Cruel” it feels like entering the brain of a serial killer, intertwined in the poisoned neurons and blackened blood coursing through the sulci of a mind gone wrong. At 11 minutes or so, it becomes chilling chaos until it fuzzes out, madness has erupted. The title track gives a sense of imminence; your death approaches, you are gasping those last few breaths, and all becomes black.
I love when an album can awaken my imagination like Shallow Grave‘s Threshold Between Worlds.
Threshold Between Worlds is out October 31 on Sludgelord Records/Black Voodoo Records/Cursed Monk Records/minoRobscuR. Buy it here!