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EVOKEN / BENEATH THE FROZEN SOIL
EVOKEN / BENEATH THE FROZEN SOIL
Split CD
(I Hate Records)
64:06min

EVOKEN is soul eroding Death Metal Doom from New Jersey. Atmosphere is the end, and it is supreme. I witnessed EVOKEN in the small hours one hazed-over night some years back and I cannot recall ever having seen another band play as long. They delved into a sprawling catalog of gradually unfolding mystery and majesty. Songs tend toward the ultimately transcendent in scope. Occasional flavors include the stratospheric nuclear halo of WINTER instrumentals; the strange, luring vortices of Finland's ABHORRENCE; and DIVINE EVE's lush harmonized leads in a garden of unearthly delights. Effects are liberal, and it is in these odd, watery-voiced interludes that the shadowy essence of this act comes closer. Always, this music is a becoming, a transition, an evolution. Something nears, from another dimension, not of flesh, waiting to be molded into a form that does not yet exist. There are few other Death / Funeral Doom acts that come before this legendary ensemble, featuring members of FUNEBRARUM, ABAZAGORATH, et al. Be advised, for Death Doom mind trips, EVOKEN is the source. Sweden's BEANEATH THE FROZEN SOIL, on the other hand, is a comparatively younger Death / Doom band, who are solid and interesting in their own right. Thematic riffs amble onward while vocals touch early CATHEDRAL at turns. There are some really neat, moody pieces here as well. While both groups share intent, this band is somewhat less mind-bending and not quite as enveloping as EVOKEN. Taken as a whole, this disc is an obscure treat for the devotee. All others will be lost if not bewildered. www.myspace.com/evoken, www.myspace.com/btfs, www.ihate.se

Leonard Likas

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