Fast Rites: because sometimes brevity is fundamental.
It’s been a while since doom has had a big enough year that multiple high-quality albums end up falling through the cracks, but such is the case in 2018: Part 1.
Germany’s Mirror Of Deception made their biggest splash back around 2006 when doom experienced a notable surge that stirred discussions about Sweden’s I Hate Records and excellent releases such as Isole’s Throne of Void, Warning’s Watching from a Distance and Gates Of Slumber’s Suffer No Guilt. That same year, Mirror Of Deception released their third full-length, Shards, and fellow Statesiders with an ear to the underground (or an eye on the Hellride forums) knew the release was first-class enough to figure out how to get a physical copy in hand all the way from Donzdorf’s Cyclone Records.
Since then, things have been relatively quiet for the band, at least in terms of releases. They continued playing shows, however, and co-founding guitarist Jochen Fopp helped organize Europe’s Doom Shall Rise festival, which ran from 2003 through 2013. Now, a full eight years since the release of their last full-length, 2010’s A Smouldering Fire, one of Germany’s longest running doom acts has finally returned with The Estuary.
Apart from a couple of new-ish faces behind the kit and bass, the MoD game is pretty much the same in 2018 as it was in 2006, which is very good news. The Estuary is packed with the sort of visceral, infectious traditional doom fans of the band have grown to expect—it’s melodic without beating you over the head with noodling leads (pretty much zero leads here), and it’s slow & sentimental without dragging or ever feeling too schmaltzy.
Thankfully, co-founding guitarist/vocalist Michael Siffermann is still in the picture—his voice remains the band’s most distinctive component. Perhaps this will come out of left field for some, but Siffermann’s delivery is as close to a guy like Bob Mould (Hüsker Dü, Sugar) as one could hope for in doom, and the years have stripped precisely zero grit or passion from his cords. And really, that’s the bottom line when it comes to Mirror Of Deception: as long as the chords and cords are still strong, then traditional doom freaks will continue loving the band. As luck would have it, The Estuary is every bit as lovable as the rest of the band’s catalog.
Release date: November 9th, 2018