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Mansion - Second Death review




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Reviewer:
6.8

18 users:
7.39
Band: Mansion
Album: Second Death
Release date: January 2023


01. Procession
02. Sword Of God
03. No Funeral
04. Heathen Hole
05. In The Court Of The Sorrowless
06. Second Death
07. You Are Suspicious
08. You Are Suspicious [extended edition version]


Second Death is the conveniently titled second release by Finnish doom band Mansion. As doom metal goes this band have a rather different approach to things as they opt for a more theatrical approach in a haunting horror setting, as opposed to the traditional doom way. Sound interesting to you?

Back in 2018 Mansion introduced us to their first full length debut First Death Of Lutheran, and from this early stage they have shown an indication of becoming a cult act, with a style maybe more suited for a specific audience who will perhaps appreciate this unorthodox doom method of approach, more than those who simply prefer doom metal bands to keep things within the traditional boundaries, in other words Mansion are more likely to be a hit or miss act in the metal world.

By now you may have gathered Mansion aren't your typical doom metal act, and the prime culprit for this is their theatrical vocal styles, which even at times sounds like a narrative tale telling scenarios from horror stories. Although these vocals aren't particularly my preferred choice when it comes to doom, they do add a sense of originality to the album. The vox act as a duo between Alma's female and Osmo's male vocals, both of similar style, but it's the female vocals I find most fascinating in this case, her witchery theatrics have a rather bizarre hint of Kate Bush; weird, I know, but intriguing for the listener, I admit.

Although not without its flaws I believe the structure is reasonably adequate, despite the vocals at times sounding a little disjointed from the other elements featured. Here you have a typical heavy doom sound and approach, with the obvious instrumental elements such as the deep heavy guitar tone with the occasional fuzz tone for added effect, as well as the heavy bass and deep cutting sludgy mid-tempo riffs, all of which aren't exactly out of the ordinary. What does stand out most is the synth work, which creates the all important haunting atmospheric soundscape, the one engaging element aside from the vocals, I would say.

The track lengths are certainly on the long side, by which case none of the eight tracks run under six minutes. The closing two tracks are of the same title "You Are Suspicious", the closer being an extended version of the latter, both tracks being amongst the longest on the album, and unfortunately neither really have me the wow factor that I presumed they would. There are several moments throughout the album I find striking, the track "No Funeral" for starters, with its eerie atmospheric build up which brought me back to the main build up on the iconic "Black Sabbath" track, and the haunting vocals fit this particular part very well as they remind me of Ozzy's creepy narration during the epic build up. However, I found the track didn't necessarily lead to anything memorable, unlike "Black Sabbath" which ended in a fantastic Iommi solo; a slight disappointment in my view.

Overall Second Death isn't going to work for all doom metal fans, or metal fans in general, but there's no denying that Mansion have done a grand job creating creepy atmospheric settings through impressive synth work, which makes up for their less than inspiring instrumentation, and the vocals although not to everyone's taste add a unique character and charm. So don't be surprised to see Mansion form their own cult following in the near future, you can bet they will.


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





Written on 16.01.2023 by And well there you have it.


Comments

Comments: 6   Visited by: 56 users
18.01.2023 - 18:30
Rating: 6
LifelikeAdvisor

I definitely see them becoming a cult act; their vibe is too unique. Thinking of it that way, they sort of remind me of Twin Temple in that they take a unique spin on their approach to genre work. Not sure if the theatrics are similar, so maybe this point is mute.

Your description of their music being unorthodox to traditional doom makes me want to relisten to the album. I didn't the same sense you did; I felt the music was pretty monotone and at odds with the lyrical storytelling. It could have been the vocals, too, just something felt at odds with the narrative. Yeah, definitely going to relisten. Appreciate the review!

Side note: last sentence is missing a "[" for band name.
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18.01.2023 - 18:43
Rating: 7
AndyMetalFreak
A Nice Guy
Written by LifelikeAdvisor on 18.01.2023 at 18:30

I definitely see them becoming a cult act; their vibe is too unique. Thinking of it that way, they sort of remind me of Twin Temple in that they take a unique spin on their approach to genre work. Not sure if the theatrics are similar, so maybe this point is mute.

Your description of their music being unorthodox to traditional doom makes me want to relisten to the album. I didn't the same sense you did; I felt the music was pretty monotone and at odds with the lyrical storytelling. It could have been the vocals, too, just something felt at odds with the narrative. Yeah, definitely going to relisten. Appreciate the review!

Side note: last sentence is missing a "[" for band name.

Thanks for commenting, and I can understand your point in describing the music as monotone and about it being at odds with the storytelling.
And thanks for bringing the band Twin Temple to my attention, I will have to check them out

I've corrected the band link on the last sentence by the way, thanks for pointing that out
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19.01.2023 - 07:49
Doomintroll

Their music didn't really pull me in at first, but then I learned of their theme. Suits them well to be called a cult act, since that's what their music's based on: an old, violently fanatical Christian sect from 1920s-50s Finland. Gives a whole new eerie, creepy and even repulsive feel to the music when you know how those people treated their followers, even small children.

In case someone's interested, here's a nutshell article in English: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kartanoism
But if anyone's curious about the details of their cruelty, I suggest using google translate to the original Finnish wiki article. The translation's janky, but gets the point across.
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19.01.2023 - 07:56
Rating: 7
AndyMetalFreak
A Nice Guy
Written by Doomintroll on 19.01.2023 at 07:49

Their music didn't really pull me in at first, but then I learned of their theme. Suits them well to be called a cult act, since that's what their music's based on: an old, violently fanatical Christian sect from 1920s-50s Finland. Gives a whole new eerie, creepy and even repulsive feel to the music when you know how those people treated their followers, even small children.

In case someone's interested, here's a nutshell article in English: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kartanoism
But if anyone's curious about the details of their cruelty, I suggest using google translate to the original Finnish wiki article. The translation's janky, but gets the point across.

Thanks for sharing The theme behind this shows the album in a whole new perspective, the narrative vocal style suits the theme very well think.
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19.01.2023 - 18:54
Rating: 6
LifelikeAdvisor

Written by AndyMetalFreak on 18.01.2023 at 18:43

Thanks for commenting, and I can understand your point in describing the music as monotone and about it being at odds with the storytelling.

I gave the album another listen and I'm a little more on board now, if by an inch. I appreciate the atmosphere more, but as you say about "You Are Suspicious" and "No Funeral", there's a lack
of memorability or wow factor. The "Black Sabbath" comparison makes a lot of sense. It almost feels like "Heathen Hole" and "In The Court Of The Sorrowless" should be hitting some sort of climax in either the musical or vocal delivery rather than keeping a consistent tone throughout...but that might just be a me problem.

All of this to say I'm apparently wanting a cinematic approach to this really interesting topic.
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20.01.2023 - 13:26
Dylan 1974

"a rather bizarre hint of Kate Bush; weird, I know, but intriguing for the listener, I admit"

Agree - I also detect a hint of PJ Harvey and Chelsea Wolfe.

Huge grower this LP, by the way.
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