Immortal Slave - _Notes on the Quest for Death_
(Independent, 2006)
by: Quentin Kalis (6.5 out of 10)
Sole remaining member Vardaman may now be domiciled in the Russian steppes, but until September 2006 he called Cape Town, South Africa home. Although this is really just a one man project, Karen is inexplicably treated as an equal member, although she does nothing more than warble on "Ardana".

This MCD consists of four tracks of romantic death/doom, including the intro "Ardana" and an instrumental -- "The Plight of all Dear" -- with a surprisingly up-tempo edge, which acts as an intermezzo between the two lengthy opuses that comprise the focus of this release.

Vardaman has eschewed the usual grunting in favour of clean vocals, which are acceptable, if not exceptional, and possess a whiny edge not unlike Aaron Stainthorpe, only not as overwrought. The My Dying Bride comparisons do not end there, as Immortal Slave possess a similar poetical edge to their lyrics, and it doesn't require any stretch of the imagination to extend this comparison to the music itself. (I don't think there are any romantic death/doom acts that can entirely escape comparisons to My Dying Bride, any more than primitive black metal can avoid comparisons with Darkthrone.) It sounds as if he is using programmed drums (blegh), and background synths complement the doom infused chord progressions. "The Cold Embrace of Winter" has the catchier melody, but it feels a bit overlong, and the slower "Deus in Infernum" is the true highlight, due to its measured pacing.

It's a pleasing and entertaining listen, but apart form his unique voice and poetic lyrics, there is little to distinguish Immortal Slave from other similar projects.

Contact: http://www.immortalslave.tk

(article published 26/1/2008)


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