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Loss - Life Without Hope...Death Without Reason - 2006 - Deathgasm Records

Track Listing
1. Coffin Nails (Intromancy)
2. Conceptual Funeralism Unto The Final Act (Of Being)
3. Cut-Up, Depressed, and Alone
4. Brave (Katatonia Cover)
5. The Barebacked Burial of a Torn Angel
From the buckle of America’s Bible Belt, Nashville, Tennessee, unexpectedly arise the new doom group Loss with their first demo release ‘Life Without Hope…Death Without Reason’. It was initially limited to vinyl and cassette, only this past year (that being the recently late 2006) getting the CD treatment with a pair of bonus live tracks.

The demo portion of this release consists of a negligible ambient intro followed by a pair of songs that shamble onward at nearly identical tempos, nearly indistinguishable from one another in their respective first minutes (and at a number of other points throughout). It is not that doom metal has that many tempi to work with, but the rhythm guitars and drumbeats here are essentially interchangeable, and noticeably so. Loss are not quite the funeral doom they are said to be. Funereal, and rather frequently, but neither slow nor long enough to fully qualify for the ‘funeral’ distinction.

Guitarist and vocalist Mike Meacham alternates between lightly distorted lead melodies (occasionally with counterpoint from Timothei Lewis, who otherwise provides fuzzy, long-stretching chords) and his extremely low but not very powerful growls. Blessedly, they are impossible to decipher, as Loss’s lyrics are of the wrist-slashing, self-pitying variety, and quite elementary at that. Also, perhaps it is the influence of their region, but there are a few passages that feel a little folksy or even post-rock in their phrasing. These moments, though very sparse, serve as some of Loss’s most positive assets.

The latter two tracks do make things a little more interesting, as well. The first is a rather straightforward cover of Katatonia’s ‘Brave’, from the ‘Brave Murder Day’ album that spurred an entire generation of new-age ‘melodoom’-ers. Unexpectedly, the vocalist on this track is not Meacham, but instead the extremely prolific Lord Imperial of Krieg and Twilight fame. His style is frankly not that stirring, tending more towards gruff bellowing than actual growls or emotive black metal howls, but his timbre is closer to the original Åkerfeldt version than Meacham’s own, and so the guest appearance serves as more than a novelty.

The second track is yet another change of pace, and is almost Swedish in its gritty, low-register repetition (that being Grave and Dismember, not In Flames or Dark Tranquillity). The quality of the recording is poor, being from a live show, but its faster pace and more varied riffing demonstrate a little more depth than the original demo tracks would have suggested alone.

‘Life Without Hope…Death Without Reason’, however, is still not very captivating a listen. As the first published effort of a band, particularly one playing doom metal from Tennessee, it is commendable, but its multiple re-releases by a variety of companies is still unmerited and a little misleading.



--Etiam 04.03.07

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



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Life Without Hope...Death Without ReasonLoss
2006
Etiam5/7/2007


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