I will admit to approaching Beyond The Shores with a degree of scepticism, purely because of the recent overuse of the term ‘blackened’ appended to near enough every other doom release these days. However, let’s be as direct as the music projected – this album is phenomenal, both in terms of concept and its monumental delivery.
Shores Of Null are an Italian five piece hailing from Rome and this being their third release is imprinted by the Kübler-Ross model that poses the concept of how people who experience grief will go through five stages – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. The record does not strictly follow five exact pieces, or movements but the mood does morph to incorporate these respective emotions.
Weighting in at thirty nine minutes for one track, we’re in the Of Darkness and Ea territory, in terms of song length, which for anyone who is familiar with depressed funeral doom performances, will know that this adds to the sweeping movements that only this sub-genre can deliver. Opening with a phenomenal string arrangement, the likes of which only My Dying Bride could match, and the best use of strings since the much overlooked Funestum, it quickly moves into a powerful gothic movement and immediately you are gripped by both the incredible production power and use of pacing.
Shores Of Nullare not ignorant to the use of powerful riffs every now and then either. Some with the weight that would make the most ardent post-metal crowd blush, ensuring that the musical palette expressed throughout the piece remains gushing with ingenuity. The gothic elements shine through, blending well with the heavier funeral performances that are as strong as the likes of Chapter 2: Numquam by Colosseum.
with this magnum opus [Shores Of Null] have proved their position front and centre as depressed doom-titans…
One thing that pushes this record beyond the pale of even some of these comparators is the exceptional production, recording and the mixing. The band have curated five different vinyl variations to cover the respective stages – some of which are already highly limited – and the exceptional production begs for a vinyl purchase directly from their Bandcamp. This will no doubt become a highly sought after piece as it drives a powerful, manifesto of drama and depressed doom.
Shores Of Null are clearly not imitators and while any ‘critic’ could say ‘this bit sounds like Enuii’ or ‘that bit sounds like Evoken or Shape Of Despair’ – the fact that they’ve captured so many elements, conceived and captivated an ideology within a piece of music gushing with emotion, strengthens their place as pathfinders. The presence of Mikko Kotamäki from Swallow The Sun also reinforces that this is a band who should be placed on a high pedestal by their peers, but also recognised as pioneers that, with this magnum opus, have proved their position front and centre as depressed doom-titans.
Scribed by: Francisco Javier