Bereft – Lands (Prosthetic)

Sunday, 26th March 2017
Rating: 7.5/10

Not to be confused with the Bereft featuring current and former members of Abysmal Dawn, The Faceless and Intronaut, this Bereft calls Madison, WI home. Does this mean they should be called “Bereft (WI)?” Maybe so, but we’ll leave that up to the lawyers should such a name-wrangling position come to pass. This particular Bereft got their start in 2011, releasing a demo in 2013 and a full-length in 2014 before Prosthetic came calling for the release of Lands. Aptly in-tune with all facets of atmospheric doom, Lands is an album that has no problem stepping over lighter bands in terms of heaviness and depth.

Clocking in with four songs at above-normal-time in length, Bereft continually offers one body blow after the next of soul-crushing doom riffing. Rather burly and beefy, the maximum overdrive on Alex Linden and Zach Johnson’s respective guitar tones are true foundation-shakers. When combined with a somewhat subtle aura of melancholy, there’s a certain oppressive element to some of these cuts, most notably opener “We Wept,” and “In Filth” in particular, an jam that harnesses a rather British-like (think early Peaceville 3) main melody.

Because Lands is such a weighty album, it’s almost difficult to jump back into at times. Even though the gents in Bereft offer plenty of space and restrain in their music, they are presented (sonically) in such a manner that after giving Lands a full go, you start to wonder if where the line is drawn in soul-crushing doom. Any way you look at it, Bereft are heavier than the most heavy thing, whatever that may be.