May 29, 2013

Indesinence - Vessels of Light and Decay

Review by Justin C.

Artwork by Jaume Mayans & Daniela Kropeit

Indesinence's latest album, Vessels of Light and Decay, took me a while to get into. I liked it well enough on first listen, and their doom-death mix is definitely right up my alley, but it didn't really stick with me like some albums can. If I'm honest, I didn't have a strong urge to listen to it again--it was more of a tickle in the back of my brain. There was definitely something interesting there, but I couldn't put my finger on what.

After a few listens, though, the album finally clicked with me on my commute to work. My commute around the edge of Boston usually seems longer (and more annoying) than it actually is, but on that particular day, I got to my office with no real sense that any time had passed. I completely inhabited the dark chambers this album conjures. I think this is truly music to get lost in. If you're worried that 14-minute-long epics like "Paradigms" and "Fading (Further Beyond)" will be impenetrable monoliths, don't be. Tempos may stay slow--this is doom, after all--but the music builds, creating a wave that carries you along with it.

I know this description probably sounds a bit too new-agey, so let's give some specifics: The guitar riffs are often split between low, grumbling monsters and higher, eerie lines moving above. The bass isn't content to just double the guitar lines, so as often as not, it joins with the drums to create a thunderous bottom end. The vocals are usually done in a low but understandable growl, but there are moments, like three quarters of the way through "Vanished Is the Haze," where the singer lets his voice rise and become almost unhinged. He uses this to great effect in the album-closer, "Unveiled," which is probably my favorite track. Slowly strummed, dissonant chords and almost whispered vocals start, but the song swells, adding in lovely single-note guitar lines. By nine minutes in, the drums are more intense, the guitars are sounding beautifully off-kilter, and the vocals have risen to a hoarse shout. The song builds to an ending that's nothing short of triumphant.

I don't think this is an album that will immediately grab most people, but if you're willing to put in the time for a few listens, you'll be well rewarded.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

  1. This is an incredible album from last year. I still spin it. Members are from Binah too, which released and incredible Death Metal album as well in 2012. Also via Me Saco Un Ojo and Dark Descent.

    You definitely have to really give it time and really pay attention.

    1. I didn't realize they shared members with Binah. Very interesting.

  2. The first paragraph describes my feelings about this album perfectly.

    I like it, but I was expecting something a bit more robust.

    1. From the pre-release samples, I definitely expected it to be more of a punch in the face, but in reality, it's more of a grower.

    2. Yeah, exactly! Other than the faster part in "Fade" and "Vanished in the Haze", not many punches are thrown.

      I listened to it again last night; some of those chugs reminded me of Celtic Frost.