Everything points to gloom and despair. Fourteen minutes isn’t a long time to wallow in it, but even in that short period this trio get their message across with a mix of enduring melancholy, doom, and dark lyrics.
“The Sum of Contradictions” is about two friends who died in different ways. Reminding me in style of the UK version of The Prophecy, at its heart is lingering, growly doom, and a discomforting vocal line, which matches the theme with such lyrics as “How I wish I could lend you a hand but never will I understand the pain you hold inside”. After a brief, windswept interlude, the title track continues the mood, contrasting the fresh morning dew with the experience of dying from disease. Again the vocal line is discomforting, and I cannot make my mind up whether its insipid tone is due to the fact that it is meant to be more human, or it’s just not very good. I have actually seen the vocalist perform and met him when playing with Dimaeon, and he was very dynamic. I do know that he has been ill, which at the least has a bearing on the theme of this track. It’s difficult to make a judgement on this, but if I’m looking at it musically, the delivery is lifeless. These two tracks sandwich a trio of simple piano-inspired pieces of melancholia, which represent the seasons of autumn, winter and spring. As the publicity puts it, “After loss and loneliness, we welcome new life and sunshine”. The problem for me was that this was so entrenched in despair that I couldn’t detect any new life or sunshine.
There’s not enough to go on here, but I have to say I found this tortuous. It’s altogether too languid, which cuts out any powerful expression of emotion and contrast, which can be found in the lyrics. One thing that can be said about “Broken (Requiem)” is that it sticks unerringly to its gloomy theme.
(6/10 Andrew Doherty)