Amily – “To All in Graves” (2012)
Label : Solitude Productions
Review by Vard Aman
When I first came across Amily (from Rivne, Ukraine), they were marketing themselves as Funeral Doom – slower and bleaker than traditional Death Doom / Gothic Doom, (but not quite as slow as Drone Doom – a kind of Doom Metal where the drummer has time to leave the stage, go to the bathroom, buy a beer at the bar, drink it, chat to a few friends, update his Facebook status, return to the stage and still be 10 minutes early for the next drum beat…. so he goes off again to buy another drink, has a few shooters while he’s at the bar, gets drunk, forgets the time and ends up missing the next drum beat altogether totally messing up the timing of the song and throwing the rest of the band completely out on sync… pffffft… drummers! Well, OK, perhaps a bit of an exaggeration there…) Anyway, the first two songs I heard from Amily were the demo versions of the title track to their then upcoming album, the bleak and heavy “To All in Graves”, and the immense and beautifully crafted “Fading Image of My Own”: both songs that made Amily a name to keep a very close eye on in the future. So the release of their album when it came was cause for some excitement.
The album starts off as expected with a beautiful Doomy instrumental intro (“Endless Exequies”) before going into the album version of “Fading Image of My Own” (the only song on the album to feature Amatielle on vocals). After that, they move away from Funeral Doom and into a pacier, and potent Doom / Death Doom style with powerful riffing and drumming interlaced with sombre symphonic harmonies… returning to slow Funeral Doom and going back to powerful Doom Death again and suddenly, from nowhere, into blistering blast beats…. and then back to Funeral Doom again. Indeed, their compositions are extremely variable and versatile – each song is different and each song goes through many different moods and cycles, but always keeping the distinct Amily sound throughout. Growllemin Amor is an expert growler: deep and dark, perfect for this type of music; and he adds some sonorous spoken word passages, chants and clean vocals that are also masterfully done. The album ends off with the title track followed by a beautiful Doomy instrumental outro (“Funeral of Love”). As highlights, together with all the aforementioned songs, I’ll include the tracks “Daydreams of Peeled Wallflower” and “Rejected Cells”.
I have waxed lyrical before about the power of well played Doom Metal, and you can add Amily to the list of bands that do exactly that. Amily, it may be said, have an extra straight-to-the-solar-plexus punch in their sound, emphasized by their versatility, heaviness and measured pacing; and by their dark, deep male vocals. That said, it is perhaps a little unfortunate that we got to hear so little of Amatielle, but when she did sing she made it count, and the rest more than made up for it. Another Doom Metal must-have, especially if you’re into the further reaches of its extremes.
Rating – 90/100
- Endless Exequies
- Fading Image of My Own
- Renaissance Day
- Daydreams of Peeled Wallflower
- Under the Black Voile
- Winds of Culmination
- Rejected Cells
- Forever Cold
- To All in Graves
- Funeral of Love
- Growllemin Amor – Vocals
- Amatielle – Vocals (only on “Fading Image of My Own”)
- Demented Vlad – Vocals (only on “Forever Cold”)
- DeMort – Instruments