Doom:VS - _Dead Words Speak_
(Firebox, 2008)
by: Pedro Azevedo (8 out of 10)
Doom:VS is a good example of the side project becoming more interesting than the main band, which in Johan Erickson's case is Draconian. _Dead Words Speak_ is Erickson's second full-length solo effort, continuing the work that began with 2006's _Aeternus Vale_. It consists of a darker brand of doom/death than Draconian, one that although still mostly melodic, features only his own vocals (both grunted and clean) and no female vox.

Compared to _Aeternus Vale_, Erickson has produced a stronger album overall here. The guitar-driven doom sound is as powerful as it needs to be, with the ever important drum sound having been nailed quite well. Erickson's death vox are of a high standard, and on _Dead Words Speak_ they are joined by occasional clean singing. While the backbone of the Doom:VS brand of doom metal already reminded me of Mourning Beloveth before, the inclusion of clean vocals increases the similarity between the two. It may very well not have been a direct influence of course, as the addition of clean vocals to _Dead Words Speak_ is a reasonably expectable step regardless. (For a slightly less accurate -- with the exception of "Leaden Winged Burden" -- but more widely known reference, think My Dying Bride.)

Like its predecessor, _Dead Words Speak_ features a consistently high level of songwriting and production; there is very little to fault in the album, other than that it does not possess a lot of elements to clearly distinguish it from the pack. Still, while not revolutionary in any way, _Dead Words Speak_ is a very solid doom/death album that should guarantee plenty of enjoyable spins for any fan of the genre.


(article published 9/11/2008)

10/16/2014 C Drishner 4.5 Doom:VS - Earthless
7/28/2006 P Azevedo 7.5 Doom:VS - Aeternus Vale
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