Question Of Madness – The Dark Corners Of The Mind …   Leave a comment

Question of Madness is the idea of former The Chasm bassist Alfonso Polo. The band’s connections to The Chasm apart from Polo are that ‘The Dark Corners of the Mind’ was released on Chasm mainman’s Daniel Corchado’s Lux Inframundis Productions label, and the album features performances from Chasm members Antonio Leon (drums) and Julio Viterbo (lead guitar).  However the connection ends there, Question of Madness’s  music bears little resemblance to that of The Chasm as Question of Madness  plays traditional doom, very much in the vein of Solitude Aeturnus, Candlemass, Forsaken, and Solstice. The music is epic and steeped in a high standard of musicianship. I read an article recently and sorry but I can’t remember where it was or I would link it here but it points out that vocalists such as Robert Lowe and Messiah Marcolin have set the doom vocal bar so high that all those who follow sound inferior. It is a good but debatable point of view but in essence the author was right, who will be the next Lowe or the next Candlemass – well this band must surely be in the running but they have a little work to do yet.

The first thing you need to adjust to with Question Of Madness is the vocals of Albert Rybka. The man has an incredible range but his voice is an acquired taste and it takes some time to fully appreciate. He lacks some emotional depth that these songs need but what he lacks in emotion he more than makes up for with his exciting delivery. Once you get past that, the rest is smooth sailing because this band plays classic traditional doom and while there is some missteps along the way, there is some incredible potential here that I haven’t heard in the trad-doom world since Dark Covenant first appeared on the scene. It must be noted that Antonio Leon (drums) and Julio Viterbo (lead guitar) are essentially death-metal musicians so this is a big departure from their usual stuff but they already seem to have the doom-metal elements nailed and perfected. The only thing that holds this back from being in the top-tier of doom-albums is that some of the songs have some unnecessary padding and extended sections that don’t really enhance the songs at all. However, most of this album is still total majestic doom-metal that is full of emotion and epic-ness that is hard to ignore.

The album kicks off with a overly long intro, the album gets going proper with ‘Hollow Caves’ and this is what I mean about padding. This song goes for over 8 minutes but would have been just as good if it went for only 5. Some of it just seems to be dragged out without adding anything to the song, however there is some killer music happening here. There is great melodies, stunning guitar work, and Rybka’s phrasing and delivery is mesmerizing. Once you get used to his sound, this dude delivers. The next 20 to 25 minutes are flawless, ‘Rhymes of Madness’ is less doom and more old-school heavy metal while ‘Falling’ is a short but fuzzy sabbathian instrumental that leads into the excellent ‘Waves Of Desperation.’ The opening couple of minutes of this track will make any old school doom-metal fan drool, it is doomy but it is also tinged with 80’s classic metal in the vein of Fates Warning and this is the kind of tune, you simply want to play over and over again. After this though, the album is not as good and frankly it gets a bit goofy in parts.

That goofiness is featured mostly in ‘The Uninvited’ where Rybka does some doom-metal crooning and I have to admit, it did make me laugh but the joke wore off very quickly. It just doesn’t suit the song or the style too well at all. Musically the song is still good especially in the last part of the tune where they get some great head-banging intensity happening. I love the second half of this song but have to ignore the opening couple of minutes to get through it. ‘Memories Of No One’ and ‘Where Light Turns Into Darkness’ are songs that sound like something is missing or are not complete. It is hard to pin-point what it is but the songs seem to run hot and cold especially in the vocals of Rybka. ‘(False) Hope’ is an impressive and hypnotic kind of composition and the album closer, ‘The Waters Of Unreality’ can match it with any Solitude Aeturnus you care to mention.

Now here is the sales pitch; This album is riffs, riffs and more riffs and they are all good. Every song has a majestic epic quality even though most of the songs are fairly short for this kind of doom-act, there is only two songs over 6 minutes on ‘The Dark Corners of the Mind.’ Alfonso Polo’s songwriting is excellent even though some of the arrangements seem underdone or only half-baked. The band have all the plodding, crawling doom parts you would expect but they also throw in many mid-tempo sections, some of which are really exciting, head-snapping, and infectious. The band has a way to go to be put on the same level as the other bands mentioned but they are real close. Their next album could be a doom monster, check this band out……8/10

Question Of Madness @ Last.fm

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Posted May 15, 2011 by doommantia in Question Of Madness

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