The Drowning are a very good band. A great band, in fact. Their brilliant mix of death and doom metal stylings, which melds the highly melodic and funereal dirges of Mournful Congregation and Evoken with the precision and emotion of a Paradise Lost or My Dying Bride, has produced a decade’s worth of fantastic material that has served as the soundtrack to many a metal fan’s dark night of the soul. The fact that their music has failed to reach a wider audience up to this point brings me great despair, but their upcoming fifth full-length record The Radiant Dark will go great lengths in changing all that. Without question one of the best death-doom records I’ve heard this year, the band are poised for a career breakthrough that I cannot wait to witness. Until it sees the light of day, we have tracks like “All That We Need of Hell” to warm our frosty hearts, and we’re proud to bring it to you exclusively here at Heavy Blog Is Heavy!
Let it be written here and now that The Drowning are expert death-doom songwriters who have honed their metallurgy to a fine science. It’s equal parts expansive and controlled, creating a continually propulsive and discernable listening experience. But if this track highlights anything in the band’s deep bag of songwriting tricks it’s their ability to ride the riff. The opening minutes of this track feature a central theme that sustains itself primarily because it’s so damn memorable, but even the most effective riffs can get old after a while. The Drowning avoid this pratfall of death-doom songwriting by creating melodic textures in the track’s guitar and bass sections that make that simple riff feel titanic and varied throughout. All of this is aided by Matt Small’s incredible death metal vocal stylings, which tear through these soaring melodies like a knife through burlap. It’s a delightful juxtaposition that works to create something truly diverse and magical throughout, presenting a composition that is equally beautiful and brutal. In short, it’s everything I want in my death-doom.
The Drowning have created something memorable and special in The Radiant Dark, and “All That We Need of Hell” is a shining example of the measured treasures the record has to offer. It drops November 8th via the mighty Transcending Obscurity Records, and is available for pre-order on the band’s Bandcamp page. Don’t skip out on this one.