Released: 2005, Oak Knoll Productions
This is my first encounter with SHROUD OF BEREAVEMENT and unfortunately I am disappointed. I really love 90´s Doom Metal with some Death Metal touches, so I was expecting something good here, but Shroud of Bereavement, at least in this release, don’t offer anything interesting.
“…Of Ages” consists of demo songs written by the band (one-man band at that time) between 97 ´and 2000’. The first problem is that they are not as catchy as they should. The second problem and the bigger one, is that the band has not even released a full-length offering and they are already releasing their demos on CD and in a professional way, which may confuse a lot of people. C’mon guys, this is not the time to release this piece of Metal, especially after you are about to unleash your debut album. I guarantee you that many listeners getting into SHROUD OF BEREAVEMENT for the first time, may be turned off from listening to this CD and they won’t even bother about the important one, your debut. All in all, what I am trying to say is that the timing for this release is more than wrong, it may be deadly for the band.
The compositions are not my cup of tea, but there are still some interesting moments like the middle part of I Cry, which is how Romantic Doom should be played, or most of The Forever Dance song, that showcases some influences from My Dying Bride, Anathema and early ALWAYS era The Gathering. Beautiful piece of Doom if you know what I am talking about. Also you may find here and there some keyboards that will take you back to the glorious “Mystic Places of Dawn” from Septic Flesh. The other songs are insipid and don’t really inspire.
About the sound I can tell that it sucks. I know they are demos, and from long ago, but that doesn’t make it any better, the sound is awful. You can hear hiss all over the place, and in many songs the volume goes up and down becoming an annoying factor when listening.
In the end, I truly believe this would have been a great collector thing some years, but unfortunately not today. I still encourage you to keep an eye on their debut CD, it could be interesting. But please, please, please, don’t get your hands on “…Of Ages”, you may never want to check out their debut. Stay Heavy!!!