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Skepticism
Ordeal
October 2015
Released: 2015, Svart Records
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz

Finland’s Skepticism are enjoying a bit of a Cinderella-esque renaissance at the moment. Their 1995 STORMCROWFLEET debut was arguably the catalyst for the entire funeral doom movement, but despite remaining active with intermittent releases across the last two decades, the band has been predominantly relegated to “cult footnote” status. Then comes a well-timed article in Decibel and a Hall of Fame induction for said debut, a high profile slot performing at last year’s Maryland Deathfest, and a band that’s been active for the last 20 years suddenly becomes an overnight sensation. Capitalizing on that momentum, the Fins recorded an album’s worth of new material in front of a live audience and have released it as a CD/DVD combo, the lovingly titled - ORDEAL.



If not for the sporadic applause in between tracks, it’d be hard to discern ORDEAL as a live album. The performance itself is near flawless, sounding surprisingly crisp and distinct across its eight tracks. The tunes themselves come across exactly as you’d expect them to - methodically slow and melodically inclined (think early MDB on Quaaludes), with heaping doses church organ accompaniment to really liven things up…seriously, it’s a pretty depressing hour and change. Tracks like the opening “You”, “March Incomplete”, and the massively massive “The Departure” exemplify why Skepticism still persist today within the genre. Though certainly stuck in a doom metal time warp, the band exceeds in creating moments of genuine trepidation and hopelessness within an admittedly simple musical formula.



The anthemic “Closing Music” is followed by a pair of classic cuts – “The Pouring” from their infamous debut and “The March and the Stream” from their sophomore “Lead and Ether” opus, rounding out a set of new (although comfortable tunes) with some familiar friends. At the end of the day, ORDEAL ends up being both a safe yet advantageous outing for Skepticism. As simply a collection of new material, it’s completely in step with everything the band has introduced thus far; as a collection of new material presented live in its entirety for the first time in front of a willing and judgmental audience, it’s fantastic. Visually, it's a bit surreal to see a wall of eager fans standing still against the proceedings, soaking in the wall of sound that affronts them, but it certainly amplifies the band's control from the stage.



ORDEAL may not be the album you spin on a Friday night before hitting the bars, but it’ll be the album you spin at the end of the night when you’re reviewing your life choices. The social adoration may be late in coming, but it’s no less deserved; Skepticism delivery honesty in their misery, and ORDEAL is misery personified.
Track Listing

1. You
2. Momentary
3. The Departure
4. March Incomplete
5. The Road
6. Closing Music
7. Pouring
8. The March and the Stream

Lineup

Lasse Pelkonen - Drums
Jani Kekarainen - Guitars
Eero Pöyry - Keyboards
Matti - Vocals
Timo Sitomaniemi – Guitars

Other reviews

» Ordeal
by Aaron Yurkiewicz

» Ordeal
by Metal-Rules.com UK Team


Next review: » Skepticism - Ordeal
Previous review: » Skeletoon - The Curse Of The Avenger

Skepticism
Ordeal
November 2015
Released: 2015, Svart Records
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team

It is Skepticism, it is new, it is impeccable. ‘Ordeal’ is the gloomy and devastating 2015 installation of the funeral doom pioneers Skepticism. The album does not disappoint as expected.



From the very beginning the album creates an atmosphere in which you can lose yourself. It has, unfortunately, only 8 songs, but they, fortunately, average more than 10-minute durations. Skepticism is not particularly known in the abundance of material they use in their album, still the last track of the album, ‘The March and the Stream’, takes this minimal approach to new calamitous levels. It is destructive because it leaves you space to be by yourself. Definitely, not an easy place to be…



The album begins and ends appropriately, showing the maturity of the band. I would recommend many listening sessions, but I know you will be doing that anyway. 2015 is turning out to be a deadly year after all.



Review by M. Selim Yavuz
Track Listing

1. You
2. Momentary
3. The Departure
4. March Incomplete
5. The Road
6. Closing Music
7. Pouring
8. The March and the Stream

Lineup

Lasse Pelkonen Drums
Jani Kekarainen Guitars
Eero Pöyry Keyboards
Matti Tilaeus Vocals, Keyboards, Percussion

Other reviews

» Ordeal
by Aaron Yurkiewicz

» Ordeal
by Metal-Rules.com UK Team


Next review: » Skew Siskin - Peace Breaker
Previous review: » Skeletoon - The Curse Of The Avenger





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