Doom: VS – Earthless

Johan Ericson’s funeral death doom project, Doom: VS, reaches its third album, probably the highest point of a discography already marked by tests of absolute excellence. It’s hard to believe, in fact, for those who have considered Aeternum Vale one of the best albums ever published in this genre, but the Draconian mastermind succeeds in the enterprise, availing himself of the collaboration of a bigwig such as Thomas Jensen. This operation, which paradoxically carried with it its good risks, since the use of a voice so characteristic as that of the Danish singer could have led to an inevitable proximity of the sound to Saturnus, thus making Doom: VS lose much of their peculiarity. Ericson, on the contrary, frees himself from the comparisons with such a cumbersome name, favouring the dramatic aspect of the compositions over the melancholic one even if, in a similar way to the modus operandi of the Danish masters, the melodic work is entrusted to a guitar that knows how to touch the innermost meanderings of the soul and, in the end, the fact that Johan rather than Rune Stiassny grinds poignant chords makes little difference. The fact remains that Earthless turns out to be an almost unexpected gift for those who adored Saturn In Ascension, but it’s, above all, the confirmation of the crystalline talent of the Swedish musician who, after an album that was perfect from a formal point of view but inferior to its predecessor in terms of emotional involvement such as Dead Words Speak, returns to speak directly to the heart of the fans with a handful of long songs, convincing both in their precious melodic cues and in the alternation between the growl and the characteristic recitative of Thomas, all integrated by the effective clean vocals by Johan himself. Fifty minutes of priceless quality, of pure enjoyment for the sensitive souls who bask in these sounds, with peaks of rare beauty found in the more saturnusian A Quietly Forming Collapse, in the painful lyricism of White Coffins and in the conclusion able to induce liberating tears entrusted to The Slow Ascent. Another gem of inestimable value extracted from that inexhaustible mine called doom.

2014 – Solitude Productions