Officium Triste - The Death of Gaia (2019)


As the days get shorter and the dark nights get longer (in the Northern Hemisphere), Officium Triste arrives with perfect timing and their bleakness inducing full-length release “The Death of Gaia”. Unleashing over 55-minutes of devastating Death/Doom Metal, we are reminded that this Dutch outfit is by far one of the best at their craft.

Opening with the misery inducing dramatic arrangements of “The End is Nigh”, the band sets a very dark and funeral-esque vibe that features some slight glimmers of hope. The interplay of Pim Blankenstein crushing growls, the incisive guitar riffs and the melodramatic keyboards creates a superb atmosphere that sets the mood for a very somber release. With some crafty percussions and melancholic headbanging passages, “World In Flames” continues that oppressive atmosphere with a plethora of weeping guitar leads and crafty tempo changes.

Delivering a more typical Death/Doom experience, “Shackles” wallows in the mysterious atmosphere created by piercing keyboards and firm guitar riffs. After the highly emotional “A House in a Field in the Eye of the Storm”, our favorite “The Guilt” unleashes more waves of cracking riffs, and a very melancholic combination of female clean vocals, by Mariska van der Krul, and lush cello arrangements by Elianne Anemaat. These elements add a whole new level of expressiveness to the band’s already all-encompassing punishing sound.

For those looking for faster paced tracks, “Like a Flower in the Desert” has a certain Draconian edge to it, making it quite enjoyable and a good change of pace. As the album closes with the 10-minute behemoth “Losing Ground”, we are left quite impressed as to how Officium Triste manages to keep their core sound and yet add some more modern touches to add depth and more melancholy to their sound. If you are a Death/Doom Metal aficionado, this release should be in your collection… no questions asked.

Band: Officium Triste Album: The Death of Gaia

Label: Transcending Obscurity Records

Release: December 13th, 2019

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Genre: Death/Doom Metal

Country: Netherlands

Rating: 95/100

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