RoRThere are some seriously depressed people in Russia right now if the glut of funeral and gothic doom bands currently looming out of the country’s underbelly is anything to go by. Thankfully the surge in quantity is broadly matched by a reasonable and consistent quality and Revelations of Rain (or Откровения Дождя, if you’re on top of your Cyrillic, Otkroveniya Dozhdya, if you’re not) is no exception. The band’s sound was exemplified on their well-received 2009 self-titled release and has pretty much continued in the same vein since then. Sitting firmly in the doom-death camp, Revelations of Rain draw in some funeral doom influences and then occasionally pump things up a little to keep the pace varied enough to make things interesting.

Think heavy, plodding guitars back by heavy, growing vocals and the ever-present, mournful lead guitar guiding the proceedings like a light hanging over the gloom. It’s a great formula if a little well-worn. Revelations of Rain is a solid band and Deceptive Virtue is an album that has had emotion poured in to it. All very precisely done to set that backdrop of horizonless despair leaving you with no option but to wallow dejectedly and without purpose. Music like this often requires a few spins, a bit of patience and a complete change of pace to give it time to wash over you. By its very nature it rarely has that instant kick that wins you over but more of a dawning realisation that a band has something lurking within its shadowy, drawn-out song structures.

If there can be a high point on an album like this it is probably fifth track В безумии величие твоё (‘In The Madness of Your Greatness’) but the album presents a pretty even surface and I felt it was quite difficult to shake off the fact that its course, while more than effectively executed, is pretty linear. If I’m honest I think this one is more for those who feel like death-infused doom metal is a calling in life rather than a subgenre of metal. Unfortunately I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was willing Deceptive Virtue to arrive somewhere rather than just letting myself sit back and enjoying the journey. Some sort of doomy musical descent or even an ascending, cloud-bursting finale, perhaps. There is something in here but whatever it was remained just out of my reach. A decent album from a decent band but difficult to find anything to raise it above any number of bands doing similar things.

(7/10 Reverend Darkstanley)