Officium Triste - The Death Of Gaia review




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Reviewer:
9.0

83 users:
8.27
Band: Officium Triste
Album: The Death Of Gaia
Release date: December 2019


01. The End Is Nigh
02. World In Flames
03. Shackles
04. A House In A Field In The Eye Of The Storm
05. The Guilt
06. Just Smoke And Mirrors
07. Like A Flower In The Desert
08. Losing Ground


And just like that, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced, Officium Triste mark their 25th anniversary with a return that will undoubtedly cause the immediate revision of many a best of the year/decade lists.

The jarring change in scenery in the form of this album's vibrantly colored cover art acts as a perfect precursor to what lies beneath the surface: namely its diaphanous nature and gaunt physique, buoyed by a fleshy underbelly of remorse and bittersweet acceptance. Of course, this isn't an unusual approach for these depressive Dutchmen, having carved out their niche in the doom scene with their trademark atmosphere, capable of burdening listeners with a timeless sorrow or alleviating them with thoughts of hope and positivity, seemingly at will. Typically this approach is more befitting of a band having recently matured, reaching new songwriting heights that grant the necessary insight into audiences' emotional responses, but in the case of Officium Triste, they're merely refining and honing an already impressive songcrafting skill that dates back over 15 years.

The Death Of Gaia brings with it some transfixing melodies, beautiful as they are guilt-ridden, traversing interchangeably between the highs and lows of doom's archetypal melancholia. Its use of orchestral instrumentation throughout adds a blanketing air of poignancy that weighs on the shoulders and continues to press downward until the urge to surrender and bow to its sheer force becomes overwhelming. Only then does it relent with some soft piano passages and amorous backing acoustics that slowly bleed out behind Mariska van der Krul's harrowing vocal performance, a cumulative bag of mixed messages that dance along the line separating desperation and optimism. It's all so diligently put together, you'd almost be willing to forgive them for the six year wait between albums.

Against the crashing waves of uplifting positivity stands the iconic Pim Blankenstein, whose delectable, beastly growls are enough to carry the album into the abyss solely on the back of his excellent enunciation and sharp delivery, dragging the emaciated bodies of survivors he finds holding on to threads of hope and tossing them off the edge of a cliff. His raw (yet tempered) power blends perfectly with the music, its tidal assault never quite reaching funereal depths, though exhibiting signs of its crushing potential before drawing back to ease the listener in for moments of relaxation, signifying Gaia's death. This is all further balanced, as is the album's apparent motif, by Blankenstein's scarce, but appropriately timed clean vocals -- simultaneously evocative, restrained, and controlling.

For a well-balanced, articulate, mood-setting masterclass of doom, look no further than The Death Of Gaia. It's not often the genre allows for celebration, but this quarter-century landmark is surely worth bending the rules for.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Production: 9


 



Written on 14.12.2019 by Just another opinionated guy telling you what to listen to.


Comments

Comments: 12   Visited by: 184 users
14.12.2019 - 10:13
nikarg
Old Nick
Probably my favourite album by Officium Triste and this is a band that has only released fine material. Fantastic company for winter days.
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14.12.2019 - 10:51
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Honestly I havent really been wowed by any Officium Triste album before

And then this came along
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Sometimes you need a little wishful thinking just to keep on living.
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14.12.2019 - 15:37
Bad English
Masterchief
I Never have tried hoppy forest, but happy forest and Roses on my grave are my fav songs. I wish they will manlige till 30
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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14.12.2019 - 17:20
traililya
ICONIC...
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15.12.2019 - 06:26
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by nikarg on 14.12.2019 at 10:13
Probably my favourite album by Officium Triste and this is a band that has only released fine material. Fantastic company for winter days.

Same. Spending more time with it now that I have some wine and weekend relaxation; it just improves the experience even more. Couldn't have chosen a more appropriate time to release this.
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I have no memory of this place.
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15.12.2019 - 06:27
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by RaduP on 14.12.2019 at 10:51
Honestly I havent really been wowed by any Officium Triste album before

And then this came along

I've always liked them, just never really felt smitten by one of their releases until now, like you. They just managed to capture some of that lightning in a bottle this time around. Maybe the lineup changes helped bring about some newfound inspiration.
----
I have no memory of this place.
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15.12.2019 - 06:46
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Written by Troy Killjoy on 15.12.2019 at 06:27
Maybe the lineup changes helped bring about some newfound inspiration.

I can guarantee uou that certainly did. Especially one certain change
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Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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15.12.2019 - 07:03
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 15.12.2019 at 06:46

I can guarantee uou that certainly did. Especially one certain change

I assume it's van Dijk based on his previous involvement with Whispering Gallery, who I've heard great things about but for some reason never got around to listening to.
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I have no memory of this place.
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15.12.2019 - 10:46
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Troy Killjoy on 15.12.2019 at 06:26

Couldn't have chosen a more appropriate time to release this.

Indeed, I just hope it's not too late in the year for people to acknowledge its brilliance. Not that it matters much but most websites have already published their year-end lists (there is a good reason why Metal Storm waits until the year is actually finished). Transcending Obscurity has a habit of leaving some of the best for last, they released Dødsferd's album on December 14th last year and it was one of the best black metal albums for 2018 imo, but it didn't get much exposure because of the timing I think.

And now this. Very strong contender for doom of the year. You might also want to check out The Drowning's album released last month by the same label.
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16.12.2019 - 07:47
BitterCOld
waltrsobchakheit
When I reviewed Mors Viri, I remarked OT were like a fine scotch that gets better with age. a theory The Death of Gaia further supports.

great work by OT and TKJ with the review.
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get the fuck off my lawn.

2019 Keepers Spotify Playlist
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18.12.2019 - 12:13
Bad English
Masterchief
Written by nikarg on 14.12.2019 at 10:13
winter days.

Have you heard The Sun Doesn't Shine Anymore, lytheraly, it happens in winter. I like all of their albums, this is amazing
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
Loading...
19.12.2019 - 02:34
MetalManic
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 15.12.2019 at 06:46

Written by Troy Killjoy on 15.12.2019 at 06:27
Maybe the lineup changes helped bring about some newfound inspiration.

I can guarantee uou that certainly did. Especially one certain change


R.I.P Marcel
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MetalManic
www.MetalManic.com
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