Doomed - _The Ancient Path_
(Independent, 2012)
by: Mark Dolson (9 out of 10)
Does anyone remember the band Winter from NYC? Their only album _Into Darkness_ was one of my all-time favourites back in the day (read: early 1990s). Though it was released in 1990, I didn't end up getting my hands on it until 1993. The dark, plodding and brooding atmosphere of that album has been largely unmatched for quite some time. Well, until now. Brain-child Pierre Laube's solo project Doomed is a massive beast, every part as dark, plodding and brooding as Winter's _Into Darkness_, however the two part ways when it comes to a certain delicate melancholy which lilts and dances through each of the lengthy tracks on _The Ancient Path_.

It's hard to put my finger on, but each time I listen to _The Ancient Path_ I get a feeling of comfortable despair. Yes, it's paradoxical, and I understand that language as a symbolic meaning isn't fully capable of mirroring perfectly our inner states and feelings. In fact, when it comes to articulating things like affectivity or emotion, language is always an approximation. Aside from this limit, _The Ancient Path_ most definitely invokes a very special feeling inside me. Laube's brand of doom/death is heavy and slow like Winter's aforementioned album; however, each of the six songs feature a beautifully atmospheric and, dare I say, uplifting clean guitar accompaniment (maybe it's polyphonic, maybe it's not) that really sets Doomed aside from others in the cramped sub-genre of doom/death.

Aside from low-tuned, heavy guitars we get some fairly soft-sounding guttural vocals -- which are quite fitting for this form of music. I say "soft-sounding" as they feel like they're almost in the background, which in this particular case works great in terms of the overall mixing/production. While the pacing of the music is slow -- as can be imagined, it chugs along -- there are bursts of quickened gait where the metronomic double-bass gets faster and holds your attention in check. There are hints and dashes of clean vocals, too, but not too many so as to stray from that traditional doom/death generic category. What I really like about this album is that Laube -- a fellow late '80s thrasher like myself -- handles all of the instruments himself. And he does a great job whether it's bass, guitar, or drums. He appreciates doom/death very much (you can tell), and he translates this appreciation very well into very interesting music.

I heard that there is a second Doomed release in the works right now, and I can tell you that I am eagerly awaiting its release. The musicianship will be there, the ideas will be there, let's just hope that the same atmospheric alloy of dread and beauty that seethes its way through every note on _The Ancient Path_ are pushed to even more doomish limits. I'm just hoping a respectable label will pick this band up as they really do have a lot to offer. Keep up the fantastic work, Pierre! Those of us who enjoy doom/death out there appreciate it greatly. Keep it doom and gloom.


(article published 29/7/2012)

8/1/2015 M Dolson 10 Doomed - Wrath Monolith
5/15/2014 M Dolson 9 Doomed - Our Ruin Silhouettes
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