Officium Triste - _Ne Vivam_
(Teutonic Existence, 1997)
by: Pedro Azevedo (
Depressive, slow, occasionally melodic doom/death is perhaps an appropriate description for _Ne Vivam_. However, despite the very strong drum sound (the drumming is well performed, too), deep grunts and frequently dirge-like guitars, that description unfortunately fails to portray the whole album. Whereas many slow (but not ultra-slow) passages and reasonably competent doomy melodies can be found, some more conventional guitar solos and less-than-doomy parts (especially in tracks 6 and 8) tend to degrade the album's atmosphere of doom and desolation. My inner darkness dislikes that; here, light hurts, and those moments are glimpses of direct sunlight that aren't welcome at all. In doom metal, when one shows a glimpse of sunlight, he must be very careful to adequately enshroud it in bleakness -- otherwise the results may be disastrous. And while "Frozen Tears", "One With the Sea", "Psyche Nullification" and, especially, "Lonesome" (which features some excellent sorrowful melodies during the first couple of minutes) are very worthy, the rest of this album is mostly rather unremarkable, and often even harmful to its doomier parts. As a result, the greatest problem in _Ne Vivam_ is that it suffers from a clear lack of consistent direction, which is especially annoying when one considers its best moments.
(article published 10/3/1998)
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