about “Ocean of illusions”

If you listen to End my Silence, the track number 3 of this first full length from the
female Swiss doom combo ShEver, you will fall in love (again?) with the most classic
atmosphere of Doom Metal. ShEver is there (together with the presence of other great
emerging bands like Excruciation) to prove that in Switzerland Doom metal is not
forgotten. Although with “Ocean of Illusions” we are still far from the ability of
Runemagick and of all founder exponents of the genre, this cd can actually summon the
dark gloomy, dismal, creeping slowness of terror and despair, working very well on some
typical instrumental features of the genre like the downtuned strings. These powerful
young women have no mellow sides and no operatic voices. My ears are very pleased by
those energetic androgynous growls and harsh screams, sustained, at times, by chants
and clean backing vocals.
Melodies and composition themes are interesting, immediately captivating, although i
find the opener An Illusion too repetitive and, at the long run, boring. Nonetheless An
Illusion is a curious song, a bit different from the remaining body of the album. Although
repetitive indeed, it seems to me the most evil of the whole “company”. Kind of fist in the
stomach, due also to the vocal technique (angry Kittie alike), which is not exactly the
same we`ll hear in the rest of the album (characterized on the contrary by solid growls
and reptilian screams too), and to the true acid shamanism of music. Moreover, in this
song, screams and clean chants seem to collide, being oblique to each other. Merit of the
opener is that you begin to realize that strings (guitar and bass) are very talented, and
properly set in foreground with protagonist patterns. However, do you get the same
impression as i get? Nowadays, openers in Metal are often so improbable and/or so
angular following the logic ” if you resist you will be rewarded then”?
And now i still owe to tell a detail, because the actual true first impact with the album is a
short pure dark ambience with crows and winds, the same ambience that we will find
again as definitive outro after the final track Obsession.
The above mentioned reward is a group of 5 tracks (attention, all tracks are quite long ,
from around 8 minutes till the longest song, Obsession, lasting 12:54) characterized by
attractive loops and well played, well resonating strings. Here too a widespread repetition
cannot be avoided, which however, this time, is never truly boring. On the contrary there
are, in my opinion, 2 tracks that show great potential: End my Silence and Obsession.
The occasional use of a low-timbred violin (Silver Water) is another plus characteristic
that adds a mysterious charme. Actually in this album there is only a big minus point, the
quite restricted capacity of the drums, that cannot go beyond a couple of executive
schemes and a too frequent use of cymbals. From the moment that there is now a new
girl behind the skins (Sarah, since august 2007), i can only imagine that the HeLL-vetic
ladies of doom will take profit of this for an enhanced creativity.
Silver Water has many elements of Funeral Doom, here we listen to the powerful growls,
the hypnotic chants, the gloomier slowness, the dreamy melodic patterns bittered by
elements of death/doom. In Silent Waters a certain acid echo of the guitars is clearly
present, so that you can identify it as possible mark of the band. But with the third track
we land on another level of quality. Vocals (Alexandra/Nadine) are varied between
menacing growls and low screams, there are also some backing in clear and more solid
ocean of illusions
choirs. The low tuned riffs, although recurrent, are the hammer. Guitars are highly
defined and more focused on the low sounds. The influence of the Doom/Death from the
early 90’s is shelter and beautify. What i miss is a double bass discharge and a
breathtaking bridge. The angry fourth track present lyrics sung accordingly to the
Portuguese title, while we return to be highly depressive and cursed with the fifth track
Ocean of Pain. Misery and groove and solitude build the good Obsession, which seems a
very mischievous introspective song , melodic doom/death – oriented with the reliable
work of bass and guitar and some extended instrumental carpet.
The album is self produced yet it is very professional: all what goes around the finished
and refined product, as sound and mixing, is more than satisfactory. In the booklet all
lyrics are reported, and, finally, let`s please remember that Doom is NOT easy.
“…for the last time
the world will die tomorrow
for the last time
drowning my head in sorrow”
(Silver Water – music by ShEver, lyrics by Nadine)
Fortunately, or unfortunately, the world will not die tomorrow, so “Ocean of Illusions” is a
good launching pad for the future and a young homage to the disconsolate landscape of
Doom Metal
Dalia DiGiacomo | Rating: 7,9/10



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