Akelei – De Zwaarte van het Doorstane …   Leave a comment

“De Zwaarte van het Doorstane” which roughly translated means ‘The weight of what has been weathered out’ is a surprising album from Dutch doomsters “Akelei.” It is their début album which follows an average demo recorded in 2008 and an even more average single the year after. What I like about this is the stripped down – back to basics approach which goes back to the fundamental roots of doom-metal – pure emotion. There is 5 long songs, all of which avoid the usual pitfalls of recycling the typical euro-goth-doom metal formula. This is not really original but it is not copying anyone either and it sounds very fresh. It is slow, not very aggressive either musically or vocally but you wont find any of the usual romantic, watered down doom-metal usually associated with melodic-doom metal. The emphasis here is on melodies that create a fragile state of mind and emotion but it is done with the use of heavy, distorted guitars that crush in an almost relaxing way. Hard to describe but this is doom you can let you mind float away to.

The overwhelming lack of aggression is the albums downfall in some respects, while this is a mesmerizing journey they take you on – you cant help but crave an aggressive outburst here and there but it just doesn’t happen. Neither will you find any Electric Wizard or Saint Vitus styled Sabbathisms, this is closer to Katatonia than anything else but only much, much better and more doomier. One key to their sound is the use of not one or two but three guitarists that give the band some incredible depth. This is mellow-doom but it is still a thick wall of sound that is the core of the band’s sound. On top of that, they have a very original vocalist who sings with pure, fragile emotion that gives you the impression he is at the breaking point of sanity. The songs themselves don’t vary too much, the arrangements are fairly complex with long instrumental sections that slowly build to create the atmosphere of the pieces. There is big chords, soaring melodic guitar solos and very interesting drum fills and bass lines. The lyrics are in Dutch but I have translated some of it which revels a very apocalyptic edge to their songs but the language barrier might be a turn-off to some listeners.

Musically, some of this is jaw-dropping. The instrumental “Een Droom in 6/8” being the main highlight which showcases their ability of guitar and lead dynamics. Even though this track goes on for almost 10 minutes, it keeps you intrigued as to where the song will go next. The opening “Verlangen” is also a favorite track of mine along with the albums finale, “Duett” which has a fascinating arrangement and some amazing gentle guitar lines that are heavy yet delicate at the same time. In conclusion, I can’t find much not to like about this, it is an engaging melodic doom album that despite the non-English lyrics still gets the point across that life is very fragile and it could be over at any minute. The album is also beautifully packaged so it is complete in every detail. It won’t be for everyone, especially seeing as it is so laid-back but I find this to be the perfect late-night doom album and it is a very pleasant surprise for 2011, I had no idea this band could be this good. I highly urge you to check out Akelei. ….8/10

Official Website
Akelei @ Bandcamp
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Posted February 6, 2011 by doommantia in Akelei

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