Dirge - _Wings of Lead Over Dormant Seas_
(Equilibre Music, 2007)
by: Alexandra Erickson (6 out of 10)
There isn't an easy way to classify Dirge, at any point in their fourteen year career. But their latest release, _Wings of Lead Over Dormant Seas_, is even harder to quantify. Released on two discs, _Wings_ carries only six tracks that range from two and a half minutes long to an hour long epic that comprises the entire second disc unaccompanied.

The first installment of the album meanders from the deepest, noisiest, distorted valleys of sludge to dream-like peaks with atmospheric guitar reverberations kept aloft by a heartbeat of drumming. Dragging itself through almost eight minutes before vocals are introduced, "Lotus Continent" represents the entire effort in one track. Eerily reminiscent of Grief's _Torso_ at times, _Wings_ also forges brave paths not often found with traditional sludge. "Nulle Part" is harmonious on the whole, lifted by soft guitar work, ghostly vocals, and synthesized backing.

The aforementioned hour long saga that stands on its own as the second disc, the track "Wings of Lead Over Dormant Seas" is poetic. Carrying from a slow introduction to chanting deep, shadowy vocals, diving into traditional doom with a seductive jazz overtone, wandering into an industrial noisy mess, the entire effort carries the listener from one extreme to the next without getting lost. At some points the track feels like an exercise in patience, droning through noise for seven minutes on end, while at other points it seems like an achievement in musical genius.

The ability Dirge has shown with this release to show their proficiency as a doom and sludge act is obvious. However, if you're looking for an album that sticks to those confines akin to Neurosis or Pelican, look elsewhere. _Wings of Lead Over Dormant Seas_ is for the listener willing to get completely lost in the music, to wander seemingly aimlessly for hours. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but it is a release that will get even the most staunch doom fan to stop and pay notice.

Contact: http://www.dirge.fr

(article published 11/3/2008)

7/17/1996 A Bromley 3 Dirge - Hazing Rituals
2/5/1997 A Gaudrault Brutal Truth / Blood of Christ / Dirge Sounds From the Embassy
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