Writing a review of a record titled Senescent Signs on your birthday, when your fifty have already been dubbed a piece, is not a good idea… Amenity aside, it is with great pleasure that we come across the return of The Drowning, a band that has always been among the best interpreters in the new millennium of the doom death of British school, in deference to the dictates of the masters My Dying Bride and all that follows. Senescent Signs is the fourth full length of the Welsh band and sees a change in the line up compared to the previous Fall Jerusalem Fall (2011), with Matt Small to replace James Moore on vocals, while in terms of sound, the new work brings the bar back in a decisive way towards a doom death with a great orthodoxy, which may be lacking in originality but still very appreciable, given the mastery and experience gained by these musicians in this field. The Drowning, in the end, play the genre exactly as the fan would always like to hear it: strong scores, slowdowns, a deep and effective growl, classy melodic openings and a feeling of melancholy that hovers over the whole album in a more suffused than exasperated way, letting the emotions dilute evenly during more than an hour of music. But do not fall into the misunderstanding of thinking that, after all, Senescent Signs is a faded copy of what has been done even recently by the award-winning Stainthorpe & co.: the Welsh band manages to differentiate its sound by strengthening it, increasing the rhythms and making it at the same time more accessible, taking influences from overseas, found for example in a Broken Before The Throne that brings back at times to the best Novembers Doom. Even the beautiful Never Rest and, above all, When Shadow Falls, the real gem of the album, show then, in addition to the stigmata of the interpreters of the race, the ability of The Drowning to cosmopolize the type of doom proposed, without adhering in toto to the school albionica as it would have been legitimate to expect. An excellent band found at its best levels, I think that more could not be asked.
2016 – Casket Music