An excellent album of old school death and doom mixed with brighter melodies and alluring rhythms, representing unexpected experiences and emotions we are forced to face in our lives.
Formed in 2013 in the city of Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital, Death/Doom Metal entity Sullen Guest has just released their third full-length opus, simply titled Chapter III, based on the foundations of old school death and doom sounds while at the same time mixed with brighter melodies and more alluring rhythms. One of the most important roles in the album is the emotional vocals, which inevitably forces the listener to experience the emotion of the lyrical character, not to mention the main inspiration for the lyrics has been the ailment of the soul, death and fragility of life. Mixed and mastered by L. Baškys at Lapės Records and featuring a cryptic life-and-death artwork by Lithuanian artist Arūnas Staugaitis, Chapter III flawlessly translates into music the meaning behind the name Sullen Guest, representing unexpected experiences and emotions we are inevitably forced to face in our lives such as pain, death, loneliness, fear and betrayal, with even the group members themselves having symbolic “guest” names in Latin that reflect these emotions, those being Inanitas on vocals and guitar, Tenebra also on the guitar, Demissio on bass and Doloribus on drums.
The Stygian guitars by Inanitas and Tenebra ignite the black mass Nothing Will Be Forgotten, as sluggish and somber as it can be, living up to the legacy of classic Blackened Doom while also reminding me of the early days of Tristania (but of course without the female vocals). Doom Metal lyrics are always a thing of beauty, and it couldn’t have been any different than that in Dewfall (“Dew grace once has fallen upon me / You were my friend, but I could not be with you / I reached for emptiness / Looking to the past wishing all could be different”) while the music remains dense and grim from start to finish, with Doloribus crushing his drums with tons of rage and melancholy; whereas Mortal Cord is another brutal creation by Sullen Guest where Inanitas keeps vociferating like a demonic entity while Demissio and Doloribus dictate the pace with their infernal kitchen until the very last second.
Even more doomed and nocturnal than its predecessors, Footprints brings forward a beautiful melody accompanied by the lugubrious bass lines by Demissio (which will certainly please all fans of 90’s and 2000’s Doom Metal), and with the anguished roars by Inanitas being the icing on the cake. Then blending the ferocity of Death Metal vocals with the darkness of Doom Metal riffs we’re treated to Limbonic Perdition, where Inanitas and Tenebra are once again on fire with their stringed axes, generating an enfolding atmosphere that lurks in the dark ready to attack; whereas the venomous Doom Metal riffs by Inanitas and Tenebra are the main ingredient in the funereal hymn Samsara, while Doloribus keeps pounding his drums slowly and steadily, therefore generating a neck-breaking, obscure rhythm while the stench of hopelessness permeates the air. And closing the album it’s time for a serene and gentle instrumental tune titled October Lullaby, where the band darkly jams until all fades into the unknown.
I bet you’re more than curious to know how the fusion of death and doom made in Lithuania sounds, and luckily Chapter III is available in full on YouTube and on Spotify for your total delight. Also, don’t forget to check what the band is up to on Facebook and on Instagram, to subscribe to their YouTube channel for more of their unique music, and above all that, to put your filthy hands on Chapter III by purchasing it from their own BandCamp page, from Apple Music, from Amazon or from Discogs, allowing such distinguished band to haunt your damned soul for all eternity. Because, as you might already know, as soon as you start listening to Chapter III there is no light in your window anymore. You have been visited by Sullen Guest.
Best moments of the album: Dewfall and Samsara.
Worst moments of the album: None.
Released in 2021 Metallurg Music
1. Nothing Will Be Forgotten 7:39
2. Dewfall 7:01
3. Mortal Cord 5:03
4. Footprints 6:37
5. Limbonic Perdition 7:00
6. Samsara 5:45
7. October Lullaby (instrumental) 4:54
Inanitas XII – vocals, guitar
Tenebra I – guitar
Demissio XIII – bass
Doloribus XI – drums
R. Budriūnas – flute