Rating:
9.0
Officium Triste - The Pathway
2001


01. Roses On My Grave [Newly-recorded version]
02. Pathway Of Broken Glass
03. Foul Play
04. Camouflage
05. Divinity
06. Deep Down
07. This Is Goodbye


I discovered Officium Triste via their fourth full length, which has quickly become one of my favourite Doom/Death Metal albums of recent years. The band's emphasis on atmosphere by means of diverse composition, using keyboards, violin and even samples, is particularly coherent and fresh. As I went through their back catalogue, I realized the maturity displayed in "Giving Yourself Away" has been constant, and not just a streak.

"The Pathway" is a curious object. Immediately noticeable is the poetic and relaxed tone that I've realized to be a common characteristic of Officium Triste. Don't misinterpret me, this is a depressing dose of slow Doom, but done with a class and confidence that sets the band apart. "Roses On My Grave", "Pathway (Of Broken Glass)" or "This Is Goodbye" flow extremely well, they have an uncanny beauty to them, they have their own identity, and it's attractive to listen to something that tries to transcend possible comparisons with the moguls of the genre.

Officium Triste are capable of captivating the melancholic in us without trying too hard. Consistency is, gladly, a key word here - the songs are as long as they have to be, they don't drag, and, throughout, every single instrument is seamlessly blended. The structures aren't very tight, and this all can range from almost relaxing minimalism (hear the start of "Deep Down") to a more obtrusive riffage with extraordinary ease.

Pim Blankenstein's vocal work stands out a lot, and his transitions from grunts to clean passages are well done. If there's a slight weak point here, it's the lyrics, sometimes probably being a bit too direct and lacking the charm the music requires. Obviously, the line-up includes a keyboarder, Martin Kwakernaak, whose work is vital to the overall sound. In the beginning of "Foul Play" there's a sample from a Joe Pesci film, I don't know whose decision was it to include it, but it fits in a really peculiar way.

Most of all, "The Pathway" transports a great deal of sadness, but it hits mostly our romantic side, and not the misanthropic. Every single song, be it 4 or 8 minutes long, slow orů slower, is really heartfelt and memorable. Whether or not "The Pathway" is better than their other works I'll leave up to each listener, because personally I enjoy them all a lot. It is an album I recommend you to listen to with no interruptions, let it sink in you and it shall be really easy to enjoy.


Band profile: Officium Triste
Album: The Pathway


 


written by Passenger | 04.07.2008


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



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Marcel Hubregtse - 04.07.2008 at 15:23  
Believe it or not "Giving Yourself Away" was also for me the album I first heard of this band and started backlogging from there.
Marcel Hubregtse - 04.07.2008 at 15:24  
Btw, "This Is Goodbye" is the song they close off every show with.
InnerSelf - 11.07.2010 at 00:08  
Though resurrecting the dead .....
I just wanted to say some thing about this album , sice I also amde the mistake of listening to their masterpieces before this album
because although I found it fairly good and enjoyed the songwriting but the cheezy lyrics were too much for me to handle
Kuroboshi - 21.11.2012 at 16:02  
The lyrics are just too cheesy, as InnerSelf said. And the cleans are horrible. Not a fan of the production. The only album I truly enjoy by this band is "Reason".
Daggon - 14.05.2013 at 07:34  
Today is the day of commenting some Dutch albums for me haha.
This is a nice follow-up to their debut album, it has the same quality as "Ne Vivam", so I consider this album as good as the aforementioned album. Some of you say that the lyrics are quite cheesy, but I disagree, I think their lyrics are human, as simple as that, you can identify with some of them, nothing of hidden messages of archaic legends of the forest, though I like those kind of lyrics too, I find this band caring for the human side of music, and I like that.

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