Originally written by Erik Thomas.
Yet another superb addition to Finland’s (and Firebox’s) legacy of rending, emotion laced death death/doom in the vein of Swallow the Sun and Shape of Despair.
If you are a fan of the above bands as well as the likes of Draconian, Officium Triste, Pantheist and such, this is a no-brainer, as Ablaze In Hatred deliver a superbly depressing and mesmerizing slab of heaving, melodic melancholy death/doom.
As with most of the above bands there is a tangible early My Dying Bride influence, and these morose Fins have simply added some synths, and flocked the woeful riffs with simple layers of draining harmonies and deep growls, a process the Fins seem to have perfected to no end.
After the introductory “Lost (The Overture)”, the band leap into the expected but welcome opening riff of “When The Blackened Candles Shine”, which features a stunning ‘chorus’ (at 2:39 and 5:40) of utterly despondent harmonies and crushing riffage, that will make you tear up. “Howls Unknown” picks up the pace just a smidgeon to a Rapture/Insomnium/Noumena sort of dreary lope but the soul crushing yet elegant mope returns for the 8 minute “Constant Stillness” with superb use of minimalist solos in artful solace and a hopelessly desperate climax. The controlled yet morose rumble of “Ongoing Fall” is pure My Dying Bride complete with haunting, wrist opening piano line.
If you are not dangling from the rafters or laying in your own blood by this point in the album, the evocatively somber “To Breathe and Suffocate” and the sheer knee wilting beauty and sadness of closer “Closure of Life” (be sure to stick around for the reprise) will ensure that you end the record free from your mortal coil.
Bereft of interludes, female vocals or random injections of speed, and glossed with the now familiar pristine Finnish doom production (thick guitars, earthy drums), Deceptive Awareness is a stellar debut in a genre loaded with stellar albums.