Released: 2015, Pulverised Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
This dissonant, doomy and melodically torturous album ‘…When Dead’ is the fourth release by Mexican blackened doom project Majestic Downfall. Formed in 2006 by ex-Antiqua and Zombification guitarist Jacobo Cordova, Majestic Downfall have steadily built on the traditions of doom to create a densely textured, oppressive sound interspersed with blasts of black metal dissonance. This album was mixed and mastered by Tore Stjerna at Necromorbus Studio in Sweden (Watain, Demonical,Repugnant).
'...When Dead’ opens the album in a fairly traditional fashion with its atmospheric buildup and mournful melodies, leading us gently into the onslaught of 'Escape My Thought’. This 16 minute epic has everything. The black metal harshness of the opening and frantic vocal lines breaks down into a slow, drudging and mournful epilogue that’s absolutely crushing. Despite the length, this track maintains itself with an array of tempo changes, passages of slow melody and densely layered textures with Cordova’s vocals intensifying the experience. Third track 'The Brick, The Concrete’, after its soft introduction, is just as it sounds with a wall of sound that only breathes momentarily before the wave of distortion sees in the fourth track. ‘Doors’ is frantic, unnerving, melodious and steeped in blackened disharmony. The vocals are more varied and the plodding, doomy riffs are persistently underlying the brief atmospheric passages which break through through the drudging chords every so often. Final track 'The Rain Of The Dead’ cuts in pretty quickly but it closes the album with the energy of everything that came before. Dark passages, frantic riffs and a psychedelic sounding solo see out the end of the album.
‘…when dead’ is incredibly well composed and despite a few minor faults, Cordova’s blending of the two genres is almost seamless. Its delivery is dynamic and engaging enough to maintain the listener’s interest, and even the length of the songs isn’t much of a problem considering the genre. This album leaves you little time to get bored and certainly delivers something more than your regular blackened doom.
Review by Helena Byrne