Process of Guilt - _Renounce_
(Major Label Industries, 2006)
by: Pedro Azevedo (8.5 out of 10)
Besides being the satisfying culmination of a couple of promising demos, _Renounce_ is (considering what I have heard this year so far) the best doom/death metal album to have been released in 2006. That a debuting Portuguese band would achieve this in a year where My Dying Bride released a new album makes it all the more remarkable, but in truth it was actually Finland's My Shameful who came up with the most serious candidate this year in that specific subgenre. As far as doom metal in general, I find myself unable to choose between _Renounce_ and _Dismantling Devotion_ by Daylight Dies, which I cannot really place in the same category of doom metal anyway as the latter is much more melodic.

Contrary to albums that tread grey areas between doom metal subgenres, _Renounce_ is a doom/death album through and through. More importantly, Process of Guilt create thoroughly enjoyable material that is a fine example of the genre. It may not be the most innovative, but neither is it necessarily derivative; the style sounds familiar, but the music bears their own personal touch and remains vivid and relevant. Boosted by an impeccable production job, this results in an album that shows a great deal of confidence and belies the lack of any previous albums. Opener "Motionless" simply explodes upon the listener, with a mix of solemn passages, guitar laments, hard hitting riffs and massive roars. "Becoming Light" immediately follows suit, starting off with some especially effective guitar work, drum fills and anguished death vox: doom/death damn near its best.

While I like all of the seven tracks however, the second half generally tends to lack some of the album's initial impact. Nevertheless, where normally one would be looking mostly at the potential hinted at in this debut album, _Renounce_ already fulfills most of that potential, therefore becoming a truly remarkable first disc. Hopefully there is yet more to come.


(article published 12/12/2006)

5/24/2005 P Azevedo 4.5 Process of Guilt - Demising Grace
3/31/2003 P Azevedo 4 Process of Guilt - Portraits of Regret
4/22/2007 P Azevedo Katatonia / Process of Guilt Conquering the Distance
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