Desolate Realm - Desolate Realm
Self Release
Heavy/Doom Metal
8 songs (44' 1")
Release year: 2021
Reviewed by Andy
Surprise of the month

Only a few years old, doom metal project Desolate Realm has released its first, self-titled LP with a big, reverberating heavy metal sound. A two-man band founded by Decaying leader Matias Nastolin and drummer Olli Torronen, Desolate Realm's debut has a gritty, invasive sound to both the guitars and the vocals.

At first listen, I was reminded of several of the new doom/heavy metal hybrid acts we've been hearing lately; Visigoth's output and Evangelist's latest album came to mind. Nastolin's roaring baritone, while not gifted with a huge range, is still capable of reaching the higher notes that his songwriting demands, to the sound of abrasive, crunching riffs. In the background, we get piped-in falsetto screams, but he stays mostly in the lower registers. Speed-wise, it's a little faster than most traditional doom, and speeds up when the soloing starts in, heavily distorted, with a feedback-laced, poisonous sound. The Circle's one of my favorite examples of this, but Crypt is downright thrashy, and Reckoning and Chosen are fast enough not to be doom at all, more like a Ram track to my ears (minus the falsetto shrieks of course).

If there's one drawback to an otherwise solid album, it's that so many of the songs partake of the same elements; the listener gets a few too many similar tracks, and they start blending together. The final track, Tormented Souls, doubles down on this but adds more melody, a double-kick drum -- and even more echoing vocal delivery and crunching, double-speed riffing, wedged in between the drumming. A great finale, especially when the solo picks up and climbs triumphantly over the crushing battle of the rhythm guitar, bass, and drums.

Decaying already had a decent reputation, but Desolate Realm shows that a few of its members can turn their hands to other types of metal as well. Those who liked some of the newer, Bandcamp-famous heavy metal revival bands such as Eternal Champion or Visigoth are likely to enjoy this one too.


Killing Songs :
The Circle, Crypt, Tormented Souls
Andy quoted 83 / 100
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