Released: 2004, Displeased Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Who says doom metal has to be all about the gloom? Not that I'm suggesting that OFFICIUM TRISTE's 2004 third album took an alarming deviation from doom-norm and became upbeat (even on a remote scale), but it bears a degree of light not often seen in the genre.
What do you think of when someone refers to doom metal? Your answer will likely include low-tuned guitars, earth-shaking bass and guttural vocals, all wrapped-up in droning epics. So where does OFFICIUM TRISTE differ? On immediate listen, “Reason” bears all the characteristics we see above but it's the use of melody, synths and harmony that add a memorable light to tracks like “Sun Doesn't Shine Anymore”. Doom albums featuring tracks in excess of five minutes will often slip by without registering anything of note with the listener, but in utilising harmony as in the above, notability is added and makes for a far more interesting listen. Similarly, using the soaring synth lines in “This Inner Twist”, or the ripping melodic solo in “In Pouring Rain” does much the same.
It's an immensely pleasurable and emotional listen: dark, brooding and heavy, without relying solely on low-tunings and bludgeoning battery. Widely regarded as one of the band's finest albums, “Reason” sounds as good in 2015 as it did in 2004, and stands out amongst the plethora of noisy, dirge-filled bands of today. It would do many good to take a look at OFFICIUM TRISTE's methods in writing well-crafted, memorable doom without losing sight of other areas to make it a heavy listen.
Review by: Lee Carter