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Göden - Vale Of The Fallen review

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Band: Göden
Album: Vale Of The Fallen
Style: Doom metal
Release date: May 2024

01. The Divine
02. In The Vale Of The Fallen
03. Urania
04. Black Vortex
05. Rings Of Saturn
06. Death Magus
07. Zero
08. Manifestation IX
09. Requiem
10. Majestic Symphony

This isn't Winter anymore; this is Göden bringing you doom from in the Vale Of The Fallen.

Göden is a US doom trio established in 2019, consisting of Winter's founding guitarist Spacewinds and one-time Winter keyboardist The Prophet Of Goden, along with NXYTA on vocals. The band have been accurately described as being to Winter what Triptykon is to Celtic Frost, acting as the de facto successor to Winter following their disbandment in 2015. A year following their formation, the band unleashed full-length debut Beyond Darkness, a concept album that, as the name suggests, propelled listeners beyond the dark and into the mysterious outer realms. Göden return 4 years later to present their much-anticipated sophomore Vale Of The Fallen, which sends listeners further into a bleak post-apocalyptic soundscape.

The brief intro "The Divine" sets a bleak and doomy tone for the journey ahead courtesy of gently sweeping melancholic violin strings performed by session violinist Margaret Murphy, along with nature-themed background sounds and beautiful piano. These elements recur throughout the album, but following that soft tranquil intro comes the heavy doom instrumentation of the true opening track, "In The Vale Of The Fallen". On this song, listeners are greeted by the album's most striking feature: the deep gnarly semi-harsh vocals, which are placed above all else in the mix, giving the feeling that the vocalist is genuinely breathing down your neck; it's chilling to say the least, and makes for an experience that I personally find quite unsettling (likely as intended by the band).

The third track is the hauntingly powerful "Urania", and it makes for a clear highlight of the album. The synths have a strong presence and give a doomy apocalyptic effect, which goes well with the crushing mid-to-slow doomy riffs, pummelling drums, powerful bass, and the ghostly chants that accompany the harsher vocals. "Black Vortex" follows, and this is a densely powerful 7-minute journey of sheer, devastating, hopeless desperation, with the vocals speaking to you through a ghostly narration rather than singing of any sort. Now, unfortunately the best part of the album as far as I'm concerned is over, and the quality goes into a slight downward spiral after this point.

"Zero" is a fitting title for a track whose repetitive structure builds and builds in a manner of intensity, ultimately leading to what the final lyric portrays as zilch, and the next 3 songs that follow aren't that much better. "Manifestation IX" is nothing more than a 3-minute spoken word interlude, which is followed by the short instrumental violin and synth piece "Requiem". These two tracks fit into the album's overall structure as part of its concept, but are easily passable in terms of memorability. The final song "Majestic Symphony", on the other hand, is more memorable, even if it's far from one of the album's best tracks. Unlike anything the album has featured up to this point, this final track is mostly symphonic-based, and the cyber-like vocals are a striking factor, but the spoken word and slow, building, repetitive rhythm section are not to my personal taste.

If someone new to the genre wants to ask me what doom metal is all about, then I'd suggest giving the more traditional Black Sabbath or Candlemass a listen; however, for those seeking an entry to the more extreme end of doom, who still are seeking something a bit more accessible than My Dying Bride, then one could perhaps suggest listening to Vale Of The Fallen as an entry point. Me, I can recommend the highlighted songs "In The Vale of the Fallen", "Urania", and "Black Vortex"; however, the album as a whole falls short in quality.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 7
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 7
Production: 6

Written on 28.05.2024 by Feel free to share your views.


Comments: 2   Visited by: 31 users
29.05.2024 - 03:33
Rating: 6
Doesn’t like the sound of this record, I don’t like the vocals either… for me is a 6 great review Andy
Maybe as his eyes are wide.
29.05.2024 - 10:56
Rating: 9
I mean I'll admit I like this album. Singer doesn't bother me, could be because I'm a fan of her other band Hanzel Und Gretyl so.

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