DARK COVENANT - Eulogies for the Fallen CD
Emanes Metal Records
This band's release came my way by it being called a Canadian version of early CANDLEMASS. I was like hold on now bucko we're talking about the Swedish kings of Doom. People who get over excited in the clutch shouldn't be writing promo material or doing Internet podcasts for that matter. After a few listens I must admit that DARK COVENANT borrow a lot from the early days of CANDLEMASS. There are some exceptions for instance instead of a Messiah wannabe on vocals this Quebec band went with a guy, Christian Verreault, who reminds me of a cross between Peter Steele and Johan Edlund from TIAMAT. We're talking uber gothic uber dracula type vocals. Then there's the music which basically can be summed up as trying to be like a one dimensional CANDLEMASS. Strangely enough this band is not new either since they originally started out back in the 90's under the name DAWN OF SORROW and were also playing similar music, ahem? As it turns out that band went no where and split up but after a 16 year separation the principal members, Yves Allaire and Christian Verreault, rekindled their love of epic doom and got back together. They also included Christian’s brother Stephane to complete the depressive trio.
Eulogies for the Fallen is bookended by two interesting cuts. There's the intro "The End-Time Congregation" and the outro "Dirgevows" both of which sound like they were ripped from a epic movie soundtrack. In between it all is plodding depressive doom which is not what you were expecting from the opening intro. CANDLEMASS had their mournful times as well but this is more akin to a funeral dirge. The songs are all average down tuned riffs with a few change ups when things get melodic and the guitarist starts picking away on solos. The lion's share of this is depressive riff after depressive riff. By the fourth cut, the over seven minute dirge "Ascension Denied", I was burning myself with a cigarette just to stay awake. One perfectly good reason is that there are times when you can't tell if there is any bass in the mix. This release lacks that crushing sound which their influences not only knew about but swam in it. Getting back to Verreault's vocal performance by the halfway point of this release I was hoping the guy would just die. What a miserable fuck he must be on forced depression medication and work in a morgue. If it wasn't for the outro which shocked my senses awake, I would had become one with the chair I was sitting in. Either way this is about as raw as it gets with depressive doom. There's nothing epic about it which shatters the CANDLEMASS comparison.