Lord Of Shadows – Echoes Of Yore Album Review

Exploring 'Echoes of Yore': A Hauntingly Beautiful Gothic Doom Masterpiece by Lord of Shadows

The press kit for Echoes of Yore, the new album from Gothic Doom project Lord of Shadows, reads like a fever dream. A lyricist and conceptual artist referred to only as “Shadows” has assembled a supergroup of Gothic Doom royalty to produce one of the most hauntingly beautiful albums, a near-perfect death-doom opus. Perfectly encapsulating the romanticism and despair of the genre, Echoes of Yore washes over you with melancholy and gloom.

Mike Lamb (Sojourner) builds the instrumental foundation of the album, both heavy and atmospheric. The album is very vocal-forward, with a heavy emphasis on the lyrical content. The array of vocalists on this project include Aaron Stainthorpe (My Dying Bride), Heike Langhans (ex-Draconian), and Emilio Crespo (Sojourner). Those who are still mourning the departure of Heike Langhans from Draconian will especially find a lot to love here, as the album draws inspiration from the arrangements on 2020’s Under a Godless Veil, her final record with Draconian and arguably the band’s strongest output to date. The combination of Stainthorpe and Langhans here is particularly effective, as Crespo only appears on one track.

Lord of Shadows paints with a very heavy hand here (in the best way possible), embracing all of Gothic Doom’s characteristic sounds and melodrama. Spoken word passages are featured frequently throughout, weaving throughout the record. Stainthorpe’s monologue on the opening track “Her Lips Were Poetry and Doom” immediately sets the tone for the album, sending shivers down my spine. This theme comes full circle as the same monologue returns in the final track “Your Blood Weighs Heavy,” now distorted and warped. Guitars are occasionally pushed out of the way in favor of melodic piano passages, beautifully leaning into the gothic elements of the genre.

There are no weak songs here. The movement and arrangements on the album are strong, especially as songs like “At The End Of Our Eclipse” highlight big harmonized guitars, and “She Was But an Echo of Yore” crawls across the floor in yearning. It is, however, the penultimate track “If The Tears Are Forgotten” that ultimately elevates the album from great to almost flawless. Langhans’ ethereal and longing vocals lead you on an introspective journey, punctuated by Stainthorpe’s combined cleans and death growls. The only flaw is that Echoes of Yore is an uncharacteristically short album, considering the genre and the pacing. It feels slightly incomplete when listening to it from beginning to end.

Overall, this is a love letter to the Gothic Doom. Lamb lays out the perfect canvas for Shadows’ lyrics, and each vocalist shines without overshadowing the other. Consider this essential listening for those with a penchant for darkness.

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Overall Score: 9/10

Review by: Tom Mis


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