When Kunal from Transcending Obscurity Records sent us the promotional material for Officium Triste’s sixth full-length record, I was unsure what to expect. Mainly because, much to my shame, I hadn’t heard a scrap of their music before. I know, I know. Legendary band that’s been around for two decades and deathy boi hasn’t heard a lick of it. For shame. But after giving it a listen, I must say that I’m thoroughly impressed. Melding the melody of Paradise Lost with the soaring emotional highs of Mournful Congregation, Officium Triste serve up just the kind of atmospheric death-doom that will compel me to stare deeply into the firmament, wondering what the point of it all is. If you find that type of sonic journey in your wheelhouse, “Shackles” should make your day. We’re pleased to premiere this track from The Death of Gaia exclusively here at Heavy Blog Is Heavy!
From the opening notes of “Shackles”, it’s clear that listeners should prepare themselves for an emotional journey of epic proportions. The guitar work on this track is triumphant and shimmering, but never to a point that the music lacks heft. Pim Blankenstein’s vocal performance sees to that, keeping the almost transcendent instrumentation and songwriting grounded by a filthy, utterly effective snarl that lands among my favorite vocal performances of the year. This balance between the beautiful and the vile only works in the hands of master craftsmen, and Officium Triste prove their worth consistently throughout the track. Gerard de Jong and William van Dijk are positively spellbinding on guitars, while Martin Kwakernaak’s keyboard sends the track into the stratosphere, bringing exactly the right amount of exultant 80s throwback to the proceedings. Throw in superbly subdued performances from drummer Niels Jordaan and bassist Theo Plaisier and a superb master from Esoteric’s Greg Chandler and you have yourself nothing short of an absolute winner.
Do not sleep on the record. With “Shackles”, Officium Triste present a microcosm of the wonders in store on their latest full-length record, which is one of the more gorgeous death-doom records I’ve heard. Look for The Death of Gaia to drop December 13th via Transcending Obscurity Records, and pre-order a copy now on the band’s Bandcamp page. You won’t regret it.