Mistress of the Dead – Weeping Silence of the Dead   Leave a comment

Yes, I know this album is old but this is my first taste of this band from the Czech Republic which is the work of one man, Vlad Cristea Vales. Originally recorded in 2006 but re-released a couple of years later by “Ruin Productions” it is an interesting and incredibly heavy funeral-doom album so I am a bit baffled by some of the somewhat negative reviews I have read on the album. This album follows 2 other full length albums, “Buried and Cryptic” both released in the same year as this one, 2006. Before this guy recorded some 8 demo tapes and I think this is the first album released as an actual album and not just a re-release of a demo. This album is one long, bleak affair with 6 songs stretching beyond 67 minutes and some songs do drag a little but at the same time there is something very mesmerizing about these blackened dirges. Sounding a little like “Skepticism” is not such a bad thing and “Mistress of the Dead” does have a lot in common with that band but I would go as far to say this is darker and more dense, the guitar sound is much thicker but the quality of some of the arrangements is suspect at the best of times. This is Funeral-Doom but it is minimalistic, the drums being the most sparse out of the instruments, keyboards are also used as an ambient element rather than any sort of main feature of the music. Vocals are the usual stuff for this kind of music, guttural and very black metal influenced. Production though is very good although being so focused on the guitar sound, it is hard to tell if there is any bass at all on the recording, I think there is but who can tell ?

Lyrically, you get the impression Vlad isn’t too proficient at the English language, song titles like “Most Torturous Depth of Looks of cemetary Statues” and the lyrics from what I can hear seem a bit messed up. This isn’t a criticism though but I get the impression that some negative reviews stating cheesy lyrics and all basically comes from this fact. The songs are fairly minimal as well in the way they are written and preformed, long ambient sections are broken up by crushing elements of hypnotic dirge and drones. The opening track “Weeping Silence of the Dead” sets the oppressive tone for the rest of the album and the only real variation in mood is in the third track titled “In Her Eyes Stopped To Cry” where there is a more ambient melodic melody presented but 15 minutes of this is overkill and you can tell from the title that lyrically everything sounds awkward. The truth though is this is one of the most easy-listening Funeral Doom album I have ever heard. While some songs are way too long, it still flows remarkably well which is something a lot of Funeral-Doom acts have trouble with. Even the 21 minutes of “Most Torturous Depth of Looks of cemetary Statues” has enough going on to keep you interested most of the time. There is a kind of grandeur to the album but trying to find a standout track is difficult, not that anything is bad but nothing leaps out at you as being different or unique.

I think it is fair to say if you are already a fan of “Skepticism and Pantheist” you know what to expect from “Mistress of the Dead” but give it time and you might be like me and find this a more enthralling slab of monolithic Funeral Doom overall. The saving grace is the guitar which neatly switches from cleaner, ambient parts to crushing waves of titanic depressive doom and that gives this album some real staying power. For fans of Skepticism, Pantheist, Nortt, Evoken and Esoteric, this album should impress. However I just get the feeling it is lacking some drive in places and I know Funeral Doom is slow, mournful and is meant to be depressing but this album is lacking a vital melodic key to push it into “classic funeral-doom status”. There is another couple of albums released after this one that I haven’t heard but people tell me this is the best album from the Mistress of the Dead project so check it out……7/10
Myspace of Vlad Cristea Vales

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Posted November 12, 2010 by doommantia in Mistress Of The Dead

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