Descend Into Despair is a funeral doom metal band formed in 2010 in Radauti, Romania but now located in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Back after three years since their last release in 2014 titled Bearer of All Storms, the group returns with Synaptic Veil released June 5th, 2017 on Loud Rage Music. With the funeral doom genre, there seems to be two types, the evil, dark and abysmal kind or the melodic style that aims focus at conjuring melancholic vibes from a different side. As of recent years, the emergence of the latter style has grown with bands like Below The Sun, Bell Witch, Chrch, and others. Descend Into Despair has seemed to taken note and perfect the melancholic and melodic style.
The group does not take the traditional funeral doom route with delving more into experimenting atmospheric and formless sounds that tends to wander through somber melodies rather than employing any sense of heaviness. The band creates a style that feels like an old man on his deathbed telling stories to his family by his side before he passes. Each somber melody flows and wanders through like a ghost as heard through tracks like “Demise” and “Alone With My Thoughts.” The group has perfected the aspect of song pacing as nothing feels rushed. This leaves for moments when the album does reach heavier moments, they are more of an embellishment that gives new breath to the track. This album is not at all a bleak and nihilistic endeavor by all means like many in the funeral doom scene but more of an atmospheric and somber journey.
What this album may lack in heaviness it more than makes up for in emotional heaviness by invoking feelings of sorrow, doubt and pain through a lighter and less ominous atmosphere. As Synaptic Veil may not be the typical sound for funeral doom it takes an interesting spin on the more typical formula. If you enjoy a deeper, more emotional album that will engage and connect you, then this album is a perfect addition to your collection.
Overall Score: 8.5/10
Review by Neil Andersen