Beseech Sunless Days

I was a reluctant Beseech fan, appreciating the atmosphere and textures of the band’s recent albums more than the details. "Was,” I stress, because new record Sunless Days won me over with the details as well as the feeling. It’s not easy to pinpoint the difference this time around. The general mood is still overwhelmingly dark, gloomy rather than angry, and the interplay of velvety female vocals and deep masculine laments is much the same. Perhaps it’s a wider divide between extremes — softly sorrowful (particularly "Lost”) and broodingly heavy (most everything else) — or the band’s enriched repertoire of genre-pillaging tricks, or simply better hooks and catchier melodies. Maybe I’m just a sucker for a good Danzig cover ("Devil’s Plaything”). More likely it’s all of these things, in just the right combination, that make Sunless Days a wrist-slittingly wonderful goth metal success. (Napalm)