Shattered Hope – Vespers

It’s a fact that, with few exceptions, many funeral death doom bands do not shine for prolificacy and the Greek band Shattered Hope confirm this trend by releasing their third album Vespers ten years after the first one, Abscence, and six years after the second one, Waters Of Lethe. These purely statistical considerations take a back seat when the value of the new work becomes apparent, as is the case here. In fact, despite the sporadic nature of the releases, the band led by Nick and Sakis Vlachasis has shown an important progression over time, which has brought them to the peak of their already excellent discography. To do this, the Athenians don’t reinvent the wheel but accentuate in their sound the two opposite components so that Vespers is at the same time robust and powerful, an impression reinforced by the renunciation of keyboards compared to the past, as well as full of glimpses of melodic and unforgettable melancholy: if we add to the package an excellent performance of the band and adequately supported by an ideal production, the circle closes. Five long tracks, for a total duration of more than an hour, transport the listener into a vortex of contrasting sensations, as now the angry accelerations alternate with the deadly slowdowns of In Cold Blood, now the poignant melodies that open Verge and intersect with outbursts of black matrix, within a track that, in spite of those who claim that the genre is monotonous, changes moods and rhythms four or five times; the central track, Syrigmós, moves the sound to a level partially outside the box, with an oblique approach to the genre that never loses its melodic imprint, and the reminiscences of My Dying Bride that the sound of the violin always brings with it, are diluted by a writing equally dramatic and personal in the emotionally irrepressible Towards The Land Of Deception. The funereal clarity of The Judas Tree, enriched not only by the violin but also by the peculiar timbre of the lyre, as well as by an always effective guitar work, opens in the best way a 2021 that promises to be equally unfortunate for every aspect of our lives but not for the music we love.

2020 – Independent 2021 – Fucking Your Creation Records / Solitude Productions