Album Review – Dormanth / Complete Downfall (2020)

This already prominent band from the Spanish underground scene returns with the perfect soundtrack for mankind’s downfall, continuing with their traditional style of Melodic Death Metal.

Two years and a few lineup changes after the release of their highly acclaimed 2018 album IX Sins, Bilbao, Spain-based Melodic Doom/Death Metal outfit Dormanth returns to the battlefield with their fourth full-length opus titled Complete Downfall, featuring 11 songs where double bass drums, melodies and catchy choruses prevail in many of the songs along with other mid-tempo tunes, continuing with their traditional style of Melodic Death Metal influenced by bands like Paradise Lost, Amorphis, Amon Amarth, In Flames and Insomnium. Produced, mixed and mastered by Pedro J. Monge at Chromaticity Studios, and displaying a stylish cover art by The Blind Gallery, the album represents another step forward in the career of the band now formed by vocalist and guitarist Oscar Del Val, guitarist Jokin Andrés, bassist Isma Fernández and drummer Javi Martínez.

Javi begins hammering our heads with his vicious beats in the doomed and melodic opening tune Dreamcatcher, before Oscar comes ripping with his deep guttural growls and sick riffs in a first-class lecture in Melodic Death Metal as Dormanth’s welcome card, whereas Fire is another classic creation by the quartet, living up to the legacy of the genre and loyal to their own roots, with Oscar and Jokin being spot-on with their melodious guitars supported by the metallic bass by Isma. Tragicomic Day is as melodic and thrilling as its predecessors, with Oscar roaring in a beyond infernal way accompanied by the traditional drums by Javi, inspiring us all to break our necks headbanging like true bastards, and speeding things up and sounding more vicious than before they offer us all Beyond the Gates, sounding like the early days of Arch Enemy at times and with the riffs and solos by Oscar and Jokin feeling sharper than a razor blade. And in Odyssey in Time we’re treated to a no shenanigans, no bullshit fusion of Death and Doom Metal by Dormanth that will put all fans of heavy music to raise their horns high, with Javi once again showcasing an amazing performance behind his drums.

Galloping bass and drums set the pace in the also harmonious extravaganza The Origin, where the strident guitars by Oscar and Jokin bring a touch of finesse to the overall result, whereas slashing riffs are boosted by endless fury in the excellent Dark Times for the God’s Creation, spearheaded by Oscar’s demented roars and leaning towards a more epic version of Death Metal the likes of Unleashed. Then in the instrumental bridge -273° K enfolding guitars permeate the air before Dormanth kick ass once again with Brainstorm, where the band invites us all to keep banging our heads to their demolishing but very melodic music, also presenting interesting breaks and variations until its crushing finale. And the band puts the pedal to the metal in the Black Metal-ish Crystal Bone, with all band members sounding extremely sharp and focused, specially Javi with his venomous beats and fills, being therefore recommended for diehard fans of Melodic Death and Black Metal. Lastly, it’s time for Dormanth to go full Doom Metal in Bloody Scars, sounding and feeling sluggish and vile from start to finish, with Oscar being even more deranged and infuriated on vocals than before, and the atmosphere remains dark, menacing and grim until the very end.

Dormanth are eager to unleash all the darkness and fury from their first-class new album upon us all sooner than you can imagine, and while we wait for their doomed tempest we can keep an eye on their Facebook page and Instagram for news, tour dates and other nice-to-know details about such talented Spanish squad, and purchase a copy of Complete downfall from their own BandCamp page, as well as from Xtreem Music’s BandCamp page or webstore. As the complete downfall of mankind gets closer and closer, Dormanth are among us to provide our avid ears the perfect soundtrack for our doomsday, exploding our senses with their refined Melodic Death Metal and, above all, proving once and for all that their homeland Spain is indeed the birthplace of some of the best underground metal acts of all time.

Best moments of the album: Dreamcatcher, Beyond the Gates and Dark Times for the God’s Creation.

Worst moments of the album: The Origin.

Released in 2020 Xtreem Music

Track listing
1. Dreamcatcher 4:15
2. Fire 3:35
3. Tragicomic Day 4:52
4. Beyond the Gates 4:10
5. Odyssey in Time 3:37
6. The Origin 4:02
7. Dark Times for the God’s Creation 3:53
8. -273° K 0:50
9. Brainstorm 3:32
10. Crystal Bone 4:23
11. Bloody Scars 5:12

Band members
Oscar Del Val – vocals, guitar
Jokin Andrés – guitar
Isma Fernández – bass
Javi Martínez – drums

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