1. Ten Thousands Cranes (6:21)
2. Ash And Dust (6:25)
3. Heigra (6:33)
4. Wormwood (6:23)
5. At Every Door (4:24)
6. The Cure (8:20)
7. Evenfall (4:53)
8. To End All Ages (10:33)
Hanging Garden… I bet ‘Babylon’ comes to mind. But it does seem as if band names keep getting ludicrous over time, but not be fooled!! I chanced upon the Finnish Hanging Garden while going through the rest of Omnium Gatherum’s label(Lifeforce Records) mates. After being entranced by the beauty ‘Ash and Dust’(First single off their album ‘At Every Door’), I headed on to explore the rest of their discography . The band having established themselves in as early as 2004, have released two full lengths on Spikefarm records At Every Door: Inherit the Eden and Teotawki. ‘Teotawki’ was the only album that I bought off flipkart, but it failed to impress me for it sounded like your average death/doom with drab gothic elements. And for some reason the vocals seemed a tad too hollow and less befitting for the kind of music that they intended to portray. The album did have its moments though, but were too few and far between for one to sit up and take notice. Yet I was far too enamored with their latest single ‘Ash and Dust’, and something kept pressing me to check this new album out. Finally I did get got hold of a promo, and boy wasn’t I floored!
For this is a behemoth of an album. Slow, massive and rumbling, this is one album that will put the potency of Prozac to test, for each song is a drug that is likely to induce in the listener an unfathomable sense of sorrow. So bleak, that it becomes incomprehensible and directs the listener to explore the vast depths of the very emotion that is despair. Gothic/ Doom was never a genre known for its technical prowess and you will quite obviously find none here as well, but in its place are huge monoliths of darkened atmosphere waiting to crash over you. Songs such as ‘A Thousand Cranes’ will instantly remind you of the Swedish Swallow the Sun, where as the next song ‘Ash and Dust’ has a more early Paradise Lost , My Dying Bride and ‘Brave New Day’ era Katatonia vibe to it. But they do bring in their own spin to it, with cleans coming in ever so often to further tighten their grip of dread on the listener. Hegira follows the trend set earlier, whereas Wormwood is where the band shifts styles to spice things up. An extended spoken word intro which includes robotic vocals and a slightly addling synth drum part sets the stage for a massive chorus later on in the song. The cloud of dread is then slightly lifted by the relatively short ‘Evenfall’ that thrives on the more groovy side of doom. The massive opening riff of the song is likely to send heads bobbing. Things come to close with the epic To End All Ages which as the title says portrays the eventual death of mankind as we know it.
The album is to be a heard as a whole as the band drives nihility into our heads. Be warned my friends! For you might just succumb to their stranglehold of doom and eventually find anguish and despair At Every Door.
The Hour of Doom beckons….
P.S. Now if those two songs aren’t enough then you have the entire stream of the album made available at Kaaoszine.
This was posted on Metal Spree on 2013/01/23.
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