Review: Black Whispers – Shades of Bleakness

Posted: November 27, 2016 in Reviews
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Black Whispers - Shades of Bleakness

It doesn’t seem to a place where depressive, atmospheric black metal could emanate from but Black Whispers hail from the balmy Carribean island of Costa Rica. But that also exemplifies the best thing about metal, is that it has no boundaries and no nationalities. ‘Shades of Bleakness’ arrived on the scene last year through Symbol of Domination Records, and is a record of depth and misery.

After the gloomy, piano led ‘Intro (Useless Existence)’, the morbid crawl of ‘Gloom’ is a subversive, murky piece of bleak melody. With ice scraping vocals and a soaring, crisp guitar tone that pierces the foggy atmospherics, it is a song of melancholy beauty. As is the almost peaceful ‘Neverending Unsteadiness’. Lacking the propulsive and clattering blastbeats of most black metal, it allows the songs to retain a depressive pace. An oppressive gloom hangs over each piece, with a haunting vocal rasp being the only link to more traditional extremity.

‘Shades of Bleakness’ is an entirely appropriate title for this, as bleak is not even enough of a descriptor for the loneliness and isolation on offer here. Almost suicidally sad, the likes of ‘Stuck in the Past Ruins’ drain the life force of those around it, leaving that grey emotionless husk. But it is the subtle melodies in there that will draw you back for more, grasping for some morsel of hope. It isn’t there, but keep looking….


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