Published Jan 27, 2014Romanian funeral doom heralds Descend into Despair have undergone a significant expansion and transformation over the past year. Originally a duo composed of Alex Cozaciuc (who handled vocals, programming, drums and keyboards as well as his primary lead guitar duties) and Denis Ungurean (who performed bass and vocal duties, but now only sings), in 2013, Descend into Despair expanded their lineup significantly with a dedicated bassist, keyboard player, drummer and rhythm guitarist. The result is a full-length that is considerably more full-sounding, with a clarity that their debut EP, Vanity Devotion, which relied on the emotional content of their music to plumb the depths of despair, lacked.
Now, the instrumentation matches the rough anguish and majestic suffering of their funereal doom. The bloody, guttural vocals, coming out almost as death growls, are a high point, with a forced and wrenching quality. What holds the record back are the choral and orchestral elements, which are less fully-formed compositionally and whose execution, now that the band have a more professional sound quality, lags behind the rest of the instrumentation.
There's a gutting emotional authenticity to The Bearer of All Storms that makes it a worthwhile acquisition for fans of depressive doom; the band clearly have a great deal of pain to spin into gold, and will no doubt continue to improve. (Domestic Genocide)