Procession – To Reap Heavens Apart

Chile’s Procession, with The Cult Of Disease and Destroyers Of The Faith, had already established themselves as one of the emerging realities in the doom scene and, clearly, this made expectations for their new full length quite high: expectations that were by no means disappointed as To Reap Heavens Apart confirms the absolute value of this band. These forty minutes of music are capable of touching the right chords, mixing the influence of the great names of the past with references to bands not necessarily related to doom orthodoxy, but always remaining in line with a genre that in order to reach fans certainly does not need to take on extravagant connotations; Felipe Plaza is a singer who possesses the gift of a vocal timbre capable of reaching the innermost meanderings of the soul, and the same can be said of the work on guitar of the leader himself, assisted on this occasion by Jonas Pedersen. The starting point for Procession has always been and still is without a shadow of a doubt Candlemass, and it is certainly no coincidence that Felipe, together with bassist Claudio Botarro Neira, has chosen Sweden as his current base, completing the line-up with two northern European musicians: the aforementioned Danish guitarist and Swedish drummer Uno Bruniusson. The strength of this band lies in its innate propensity to create evocative atmospheres, with that freshness that by now in the masters and in many of their more illustrious followers has gradually waned: in To Reap Heavens Apart there is no room for dispersive or interlocutory passages, and The Death Minstrel itself, which although it partially detaches itself from the stylistic canvas of the record for its catacomb-like rhythms introduced by a long acoustic part, does not appear at all a foreign body within the track listing. Conjurer and Death & Judgement show us Procession we had come to know on the previous record, while the title track drinks in unexpected influences, even recalling Primordial at certain moments, with a Felipe Plaza in an Alan Averill version. The work closes in the best possible way with the splendid Far From Light, a very long and mournful ride that cannot leave those who love these sounds indifferent: Felipe’s vocal interpretation is chilling, especially in the last few minutes, when the leading theme, already hinted at in the central part, touches very high emotional heights. If anyone believes that this record deserves a lower rating because it does not possess sufficient originality, perhaps they have not yet fully understood that doom, even in its different forms, is not a simple musical genre but a cathartic rite whose access is reserved only for listeners equipped with the necessary sensitivity; To Reap Heavens Apart is, quite simply, the work that confirms Procession as one of the best bands of the moment.

2013 – High Roller Records