Dwell hail from Oakland, California and have forged a sound that is influenced by doom acts such as Pallbearer, Mar Des Grises and Tombs and by post core gods such as Neurosis, Isis and Cult Of Luna. Add to that a smudge of blackened filth and you have a pretty good idea where these guys are going to take you.
The album opens with the sorrowful riffs of To Scry On Lamentations. Here, riffs that remind on Pallbearer or perhaps even Warning are overlaid with filthy sludge screams and a thin layer of black grime. The song keeps a steady slow pace for the first half, only to erupt into a blasting mid-section which reminds strongly of old My Dying Bride. After this part, a more post core dissonance takes over, samples are interlaced and the whole takes on a more threatening vibe. In the end the doomy dirge returns. All in all a pretty good opener.
The rest of the album consists of three parts of Far Dark Helm. The first part starts off with a filthy slow riff that goes into old MDB territory again, but it also has that filthy nasty edge that Autopsy is known for. The riff that follows is an angular, lumbering affair. Vocals are replaced by a menacing sample. Suddenly the band veers into black metal mode. I am sorry to say that this was a bad idea. The tremolo picked guitars sound weak and the melody is to standard and unoriginal to do anything to me. Luckily a more death metal styled blast takes over, but here the sound is still too thin to be convincing. Fuzz is great for slow stuff, but for tremolo riffing it fails. I advise them to use some actual distortion or overdrive with a more sharp sound for these parts. That also goes for the leads that show up later in this track. They fail to impress, actually they are distracting and slightly annoying. However, taking us into the vocals is a lead that is more traditional sounding and that shows these guys do know how it should be.
Part two starts of in a Cult Of Luna fashion, strummed guitars over almost tribal drumming.
The track continues in post-core waters for quite a bit and here the sound works really well. Towards the end a more traditional doom riff kicks in and this is good. A nice piece of death doom, befitting any band in that genre, with good leads to boot! I do still miss quite a bit of low end in the sound.
The album ends with part three. A chilling sample opens the track and the first riff is a sludgy post core thing that again lacks a real punch due to the flat production. I must say that this is somewhat of a let-down for this album. The sound is just never a punch in your face, and even though there are raw edges, those are never really abrasive. The rest of the song continues with quite a high pace all in post core style and the band know how to play like the best of them. It`s just the production that prevents it from being truly great.
Scribed by: Kevin Kentie