Depressed Mode – Decade of Silence (Inverse Records)Friday, 6th May 2022
A reference to the ten years of absence as a group, Finnish act Depressed Mode delivers a mighty symphonic death/doom metal platter for this third record Decade of Silence. Established in 2005 by composer, keyboardist and vocalist Otto Salonen, they delivered two albums before going on hiatus by 2010. For many listeners, this will probably be the first exposure to the quartet – and its quite a journey vacillating between funeral doom, gothic/symphonic, and older death pastures, somehow congealing in a driving manner that generates atmosphere, beauty, darkness, and intensity over this sixty-six-minute timeframe.
Beyond the four core members, additional female vocals from Veronica Bordacchini of Fleshgod Apocalypse provide that melodic/operatic contrast to Otto’s raspy growls – while the epic arrangements start from a doom base to sprawl outward through orchestration, low-tuned guitar chords, and resting heart beat main tempos. Often the longer instrumental sequences foster impending movements that sit in ideal situations for doom/death mavens – the cinematic build-up and churning guitar/drum interplay for opener “Death Walks Among Us” an ideal firestorm, the calmer vocal melodies during the chorus and semi-stunted riffs very dynamic next to the pulsating orchestral runs. Speedier blast beats and extreme tremolo action gives chase to the overall serene gothic doom for “Parasites of Mind”, Otto intertwining his normal low vocals with some sadistic blackened screams and mid-range clean voicing that punctuate the diverse dynamic shifts of the music. Towards the second half of the album “Eternal Darkness” provides a bit of an energetic uplift, a more groove/swinging effort that has textures of 90’s-period Paradise Lost, probably the most commercial offering for Depressed Mode on the record. The longest song “Aeturnus” at over twelve-minutes provides fitting closure, its somber keyboard-infused start with cascading piano licks finally kicking in with funeral doom guitars and measured growls until the final section once again lingers in keyboards to a sudden, heart stopping conclusion.
Decade of Silence is golden for those who love death/doom of the gothic and funeral style. The melancholy atmosphere as well as the attention to detail allow Depressed Mode to blend all these styles together in an effective manner – making for a moving, thoughtful recording that has longevity from first play to last.