For a band dedicated to funeral death doom, the Finnish My Shameful are certainly quite prolific, since Hollow is their sixth album in just over a decade (since 2003, the year of publication of Of All The Wrong Things), in light of the break of 5 years between the fourth and fifth full length. The return with Penance, which took place last year, was good but not exceptional, even if in the sound of the creature of Sami Rautio emerged as a distinctive feature a mood much darker than melancholy, ending up making it much more challenging listening. Distinctive traits, these, which do not undergo particular changes in Hollow, where they are if anything accentuated and focused on these aspects, unleashing more than an hour of painful litanies without atmospheric outlets but soaked in an oppressive mood to the limits of asphyxiation. Strength and limit, this, for a disc whose length is certainly a partial obstacle to an easy fruition and, after all, the genre is not made to be sung in the shower but, if anything, to be assimilated with calm and patience equal to the slowness of the dilated times along which the musicians who are dedicated unroll their long compositions. The work seems however to live of two rather distinct phases: in fact, if the first four tracks show a decidedly slower pace, except for the accelerations present in the opener Nothing Left At All, culminating in the suffocating funeral of Hour Of Atonement, from The Six onwards the sound takes to lapping sounds from less claustrophobic traits; in this track, in particular, the best of the disc in my opinion, My Shameful move as if they were a more dynamic version of Worship, even if, overall, the Finnish funeral school is the one that imprints its indelible mark on Sami’s sound, starting from the essential Thergothon, passing through Colosseum without forgetting Shape Of Despair and Skepticism, although purified by the use of keyboards. Guitar splashes of gothic matrix appear in the next Murdered Them All but it’s a fleeting appearance, since No Greater Purpose makes us plunge back into a composed but terribly leaden despair, for another of the key episodes of the album. Now And Forever, a title that does not presage a closure to a rosy future, with its magnificent and slightly more rhythmic ending puts the tombstone on what is the best album that could be released today by My Shameful, with essential sounds supported by a good production, and a vocal performance really effective for the raw negativity that Sami Rautio manages to evoke. With the departure, alas forced, of Colosseum and the now (too) long silence of Skepticism and Shape Of Despair, My Shameful, deservedly, share today with Profetus the scepter of northern European funeral doom.
2014 – MFL Records