HOWLING VOID, THE  Shadows Over The Cosmos  CD   (Solitude Productions)   11.98

The second album from this one-man doom band from Texas, who combines empyrean synthwork and crushing funereal doom for a heightened cinematic experience on this release from the Russian doom metal imprint Solitude Productions. Like many of the Russian doom bands that we hear from Solitude, The Howling Void heavily incorporates keys and electronics into their sound and creates a sort of ethereal kosmiche doom with that same stellar vastness that we hear in bands like Ea, Abstract Spirit, Frailty, and Opaque Lucidity, so this fits in perfectly with the rest of the label's output. The thing that sets this apart is the addition of swirling, lush orchestral strings, choral voices and some really well-executed piano melodies that turn Shadows Over The Cosmos into something more akin to a cross between gloomy, filmic neo-classical music, Vangelis, and, of course, the most glacial extremes of the early 90s Peaceville doom bands. While this album is undeniably heavy, much of Shadows is pure ambience, soaring off into washes of deep-space synthesizer that extend into looooong stretches of Ashra-style ambient drift, softly swelling waves of droning keyboards and repetitious piano and guitar entwining into darkly ornate melodies. When the music drops back into the slow-motion doom metal after these long passages of cosmic ambience and orchestral sound, the transition can be devastating, the sound of the world crashing back in with the weight of aeons, the despair amplified by sparse blackened tremolo riffing and the impossibly deep guttural vocals rumbling up in the depths. The song "The Hidden Sun" that shows up at the end of the album is one the most dramatic tracks on here, and it's totally devoid of doom metal; this track is purely made up of neo-classical strings and piano woven with haunting choral voices into a somber coda. For fans of Ea, Evoken, Mindrot and similar doom metal bands with a flair for sweeping majesty.

Track Samples:
Sample : HOWLING VOID, THE-Shadows Over The Cosmos
Sample : HOWLING VOID, THE-Shadows Over The Cosmos