De Profundis have a rubbish web site. Presumably they know that, but I felt it important to mention it up front rather than hide it away somewhere in this review. However, if they do already know, why aren’t they doing something about it?
I always look at a band’s web site when I’m about to review something. Mainly to find information on the band itself so that I can pass on that information to you, the reader, but also to get a feel for the band. As this web site doesn’t work properly, I shall have to go elsewhere.
Their MySpace page tells me they are a progressive black metal from London. Excellent. I’m always looking out for British bands to get into; so much easier for me to go and see live. The MySpace page also says “the band continues to work hard to share its musical vision of despondency and negativity with the world.”
Well, that’s cheery.
Mind you, with a title like “The Emptiness Within” I guess I already had a clue.
Three tracks in and the first thing I’ve noticed is that there doesn’t seem much bass, which is a bit odd for this kind of stuff. Track 3 “Silent Gods” is an enjoyable six-minute workout with surprisingly melodic guitars and pounding double bass drums but the bottom end is very underwhelming. Nevertheless, the track moves about nicely, in an almost Iron Maiden-like way, and comes to a satisfying conclusion.
Likewise the next couple of tracks.
In fact, by track 5 “Twisted Landscapes” I’m beginning to think De Profundis are nowhere near as bleak as they seem to think they are.
And I mean that as a good thing. Throughout the album the guitars soar and swoop brightly and the barked vocals add another texture rather than sounding like someone who just wants to bite your head off.
I wonder if De Profundis have parked their musical vision of despondency and negativity and emerged into the sunlight. I don’t know how this album compares to the previous two but if this is a conscious effort to be less glum then I think they have made the right decision.
Heck, track 6 “Release” skips along positively brightly before the guitars kick in with a neat riff. This brightness continues for the next seven and a half minutes. There’s even a jazz ending. Not very often you hear piano on a metal album. This is good stuff, it really is. Not earthshattering, but certainly interesting.
Track 8 “Parallel Existence” has more jazzy stuff but it works as a contrast to the blistering riffs elsewhere in the song.
Final track “Unbroken (A Morbid Embrace)” is doing more of the above but without sounding repetitive and at the end of the first full play of the album I have realised I like the album a great deal and am looking forward to playing it again. Not always the case with the albums I review.
De Profundis show much more promise than I originally expected from a band with a logo that looks like so many others and a web site that simply doesn’t work.
I absolutely, whole-heartedly recommend this album to all you metal heads out there and I will be checking out their first two albums and seeing if they are playing anywhere local. They look pretty lively on YouTube and that’s good enough for me.