Requiem Laus - Promo 2006 (EP)
Melodic Doom-Death
5 songs (19:00)
Release year: 2006
Requiem Laus
Reviewed by Ken

A few weeks back I mentioned in my Assemblent review that Portugal wasn’t a place regarded for its abundance of metal acts. Assemblent are an excellent band and directly on their heels is Requiem Laus, a band that once again opens that door a little wider, showing a bit more of what Portugal truly has to offer the metal world.

The band mixes melodic death metal and doom-death equally. Though this is a demo, the band has actually been around since 1994 and has released three other demos (Life Fading Existence, For The Ones Who Died and Through Aeons). And though the band has been offered record deals, they’ve chosen to decline each one as they’ve viewed them, from the perspective of an underground band, as “non-rewarding” deals. Thus most metal fans have likely not been exposed to Requiem Laus, which, to these ears, is unfortunate. They do have a management and international booking support, but no distribution deal, which makes their albums very hard to come by.

Since the band is content with self-releasing their material, one would expect a less than stellar presentation, but Requiem Laus don’t skimp on any part of it. Yes, it is a CDR, but the production is killer, the artwork is of the Travis Smith standard—very high quality, intriguing art—and the album comes with a multimedia section (as did their last demo) with live footage, band biography and photos. With a minimalist approach they’ve produced a product that gives more than many major label-backed bands. Miguel Freitas (vocals, guitar) is the only remaining original member of the band, whether or not the musical consistency has changed from previous albums I couldn’t say as this is the first time I’ve heard them. What I can say is that it should be of no consequence because this demo is very good.

It begins with “Christ Above” and “Final Function,” two dark, melancholic doom-death anthems rife with sounds and textures that reflect The Karelian Isthmus-era Amorphis. “Perfect World” begins with some channel surfing on a radio—which makes me cringe every time a band does this because it’s been done a trillion times since the dawn of recording—and quickly turns into a more uptempo number that is more melodic death metal than doom: death metal growls, chromatic progressions, double-bass, etc. A very good tune, but a step down from the first two. Next up is a one minute and four second instrumental, “Maledictus,” that is gone before you can acknowledge its existence. The final track is called “Reflection Of God” and this one is borderline black metal at times, the death metal elements are again the most prominent, but the mournful guitar leads bring in the doom-death and the inclusion of blast beats and raspy death-like vocals give the song a somewhat black metal feel.

Essentially there is nothing wrong with this album. One could complain about its availability, but that is essentially too petty to even consider. My one complaint is that the songs seem incomplete, their life cut too short. Right when you feel like the song should be building to show you something more epic in scope, it’s fading out and it’s over. I wish the band would have lengthened the songs, fleshed them out a bit more, made them bigger, grander. For what it is, though, there is little to shake your head about. Requiem Laus have put together a very good release, and although my preferences would have preferred a little more, I can’t find flaws with what I’ve been given. Portugal still may not be a place many consider to be overflowing with metal acts, but it’s clear that some bands are determined to prove that notion wrong. Requiem Laus are very convincing.

AUDIO: Christ Above, Final Function, Perfect World and Reflection Of God (Clips)

Note: In time these links will likely becoming outdated.

Killing Songs :
Christ Above, Final Function and Reflection Of God
Ken quoted 80 / 100
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