Band: Vacant Eyes
Album: A Somber Preclusion of Being
Genre: Melodic / progressive death/doom metal, Funeral doom
1. A Colorless Eternity (16:52)
2. A Timeless Vault (8:44)
3. Induced Desolation (9:50)
4. Apparitions of Existence (12:12)
5. An Essence of Anguish (12:01)
6. Into an Empty Dream (15:08)
Total time: 1:14:47
Release date: September, 4, 2020
Promo: Jeremy Lewis
Today in the spotlight is the debut full-length release of a band from Easthampton, Massachusetts. Vacant Eyes begin their life in the distant 2011th year. Originally founded by Josh Moran (Guitar / Vocals) as a solo project, the desire to take the music into a live setting led to a full band forming in 2013. After the long 9 years the band brought forth “A Somber Preclusion of Being”. And musicians promised us a journey to worlds similar to those of Shape of Despair, Daylight Dies, Opeth and Swallow the Sun. Let’s go!
The album has been described by lyricist and main songwriter, Josh Moran, as a “collection of thoughts and perspective for those who share the dream of an alternate ending to existence.” Diving into “A Somber Preclusion of Being” finds the debut album as solid as sensual. Enjoyably throwback doom complete with melodic structures. The album meets us with a somewhat straightforward monolithic track “A Colorless Eternity”. The song balances on the verge between the stringiness of the funeral and the melody of death doom, further developing into a more diverse composition. The heaviest song for 16 minutes is taking turned by the shortest one. The stringy guitar solos continue to do their funeral job here qualitatively. The afterlife growl of a classic genre format gently falls on the musical canvas.
The album was mastered by Jens Bogren (Opeth, Katatonia, Dark Tranquillity, et al.) at Fascination Street Studios in Örebro, Sweden, and recorded and with sound engineer Brian Westbrook. Good job as well with a balance between quality and atmosphere.
The new Vacant Eyes album finds the extreme metal outfit dedicating themselves to boundlessly crafting their own brand of heavy music, cloaked in themes of non-existence, despair, loss, and seeking truths often left unspoken. “I find a certain beauty in depression and darkness. It’s as real as it gets, and I have the utmost respect for it,” Moran, the band’s lyricist and main songwriter, explained.
It’s hard to pick out the most memorable track. This is the case when there is no specific hit on the album. For me anyway. And it’s more effective to listen to introspective album in its entirety from the start to finish. I see the character behind each song, although for the sake of completeness I didn’t find the really non-standard composer solutions here, but some moments still deserve attention. Fragmentally oversimplified rhythm section and keyboards plunged me into catatonic stupor. Alternating more complex passages with a simple ways becomes something like a peculiarity of album. This is a completely “mood album”. It will be very well understood by fans of the old school death/doom, depressive sounds and partly by funeral fans.
The closer the album is to the end, the more depressing it gets. The last 3 compositions will especially appeal to fans of lingering funeral. Conceptually and generally it’s interesting. But definitely not for a wide audience, you know. I would like to separately praise the acoustic guitar inserts and the competent minimalism of the rhythm section with a heartbreaking solo moments. The female vocals on the last track also impressed me. I’m not a fan of female vocals in general, but perhaps in this album it could be added even more “Into an Empty Dream”. Perhaps this track turned out to be the most touching for me.
I want to wish the band further success. We will wait for the new works.
JOSH MORAN (Guitar, Vocals, Cello)
ALEX SMITH (Guitar, Backing Vocals)
GRIM RILEY (Bass)
CHRIS KUDUKEY (Drums)
MARK RICHARDSON (Keyboards)
Vacant Eyes: Official site | Bandcamp | Facebook | Spotify
reviewer: Olga Kann