Crypt of Silence - _Beyond Shades_
(Solitude Productins, 2014)
by: Chaim Drishner (1.5 out of 10)
The fact Solitude Productions releases an abundance of second tier doom album is easily forgiven in light of the label's enthusiasm and hard work, and due to the fact it offers a collage of doom aesthetics that encompasses the whole of the musical spectrum, from gothic to funeral doom. Occasionally this Russian label even manages to release some truly brilliant albums; the list would be too long to mention -- you'll have to trust me on that. So whether someone is being curious as to the state of affairs in relation to what's currently cooking in the realm of doom metal, a glance at the extensive release history of Solitude Productions should give anyone a clue as to how good this global movement is, and on the other hand -- how bad it is.

But Solitude is undoubtedly doing something right that's been working for a decade, and it seems this label is only getting stronger as time passes, with as many as twenty(!) releases per year (if not more). Sure, the ratio can sometimes be one decent album per every five releases, but that single good release makes all the difference in the world; a reason for keeping an eye on the activity of this prolific establishment.

Ukrainian newcomers Crypt of Silence belong to the family of bands that unfortunately has nothing new to say to the world; nevertheless, Solitude Productions still released the band's first album and supported it for reasons only the label probably understands. The band's debut album _Beyond Shades_ is a tedious affair of musical redundancy that mildly echoes Anathema's earliest endeavors, but without an inch of singularity or character. The melodic doom/death on display is extremely benign and lethargic, and not in a good way. The weary riffs create a run-of-the-mill show, shallow both in depth and dimensions, and the poor dynamics coupled with a low originality factor make this album a tedious listening experience for those who have heard a thing or two in regard to doom metal or metal in general. The short introductory to the album mentions the band's inspiration being Mourning Beloveth's _The Sullen Sulcus_, but that is not something to boast about, because the aforementioned is not the brilliant album everyone thinks it is to begin with. In addition, _The Sullen Sulcus_ is much thicker in sound, fuller and more rounded when compared to _Beyond Shades_, and more 'progressive' relatively to the Neanderthal simplicity of the latter, so the comparison is a tad misleading, to say the least.

_Beyond Shades_ is painted by numbers; a rehashed effort showcasing a complete lack of individuality. An album only those who take their very first steps in the realm of doom/death may care to listen to. The cliché ridden texts and songs are of the romantic kind, where false melancholy and fake emotions reign supreme, and as such, anyone into doom metal for more than a week is well advised to stay clear of this album, as it has got absolutely nothing to offer you, connoisseurs of doom and gloom. _Beyond Shades_ is a lifeless album saved only by the average ability of the musicians to play their instruments.

Crypt of Silence badly need to work on their own inner voice and think carefully how to transgress beyond the corny and the habitual, if they ever want their music to be recognized and revered by mature and experienced audience. If they don't break the glass ceiling of their own cliché-obsessed misconception of what doom metal is all about and what it should represent -- then there's no point in recording a sophomore album; there really isn't.


(article published 13/11/2014)

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