Shape of Despair – Monotony Fields

Release date: June 15th, 2015
Label: Season of Mist

By Laetitia
Every now and then, it is inevitable that you come across an album that you are reluctant to review. Whether it is the style, your mood, or life, the universe and everything else. When a band manages to make that feeling disappear, it’s a damn good sign. This happened when Monotony Fields of the Finnish atmospheric funeral doom metal band Shape of Despair landed on my desk. While I’m usually not a fan of doom metal, Monotony Fields has got me listening intently.

The material on Monotony Fields exists out of tunes that are very heavy on the stomach. The riffs, the bass line and the guttural vocals are extremely slowly paced and therefore immersive. You can almost feel the burden that this music drags along. Yet the female vocals and keys on the title track provide that glimpse of light, that you need to keep you from drowning in it. The astral synths together with the sometimes droning vibe, give the music a somewhat surreal edge every now and then, like you can hear on the song Descending Inner Night.

Even though the gross of the music is structured from of the same elements, Shape of Despair demonstrates skill in song writing by keeping most of the eight tunes from sounding repetitive. For example, the guitar melodies and clean vocals in The Distant Dream of Life, make it distinct from the rest.

The one complaint that one could have against this album is the time span. With over 70 minutes worth of heavy, droning music, there is a chance that Monotony Fields becomes more than a record title: rather the description of the album. However, that is something the listener should decide for him or herself, since I can imagine putting on this kind of music as a background soundtrack and having no issue with it. Other than that, these Finns may have taken a lot of time to return to the metal scene since their last full-length (eleven years!), but they do so with an intense album.

Rating: 7,5/10
Track list:
1. Reaching the Innermost
2. Monotony Fields
3. Descending Inner Night
4. The Distant Dream Of Life
5. Withdrawn
6. In Longing
7. The Blank Journey
8. Written In My Scars

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