De Profundis – The Emptiness Within (2012) CD Review

Reviewed from the former offices of the KGB

As we approach the halfway point of 2012 and the big name releases come thicker and faster than high quality bukkake it’s easy to overlook the lesser known and less prominent acts in the world of Metal, especially when it comes to those based in the tiny yet vocal island of Britain.

So with this in mind, it’s only right the latest studio effort from the UK’s De Profundis, who although perhaps not so well known among the vast legions of Metal enthusiasts, have nonetheless managed to earn a reputation for themselves due to their consistently well performed live ventures and eclectic influences perhaps best described as Melodic Hybrid Metal? Ok, I could just say ‘progressive Metal’, but that’s becoming more and more of a catch-all term to describe ANYTHING that isn’t entirely conventional, regardless of whether or not it’s actually progressing from anything, so fuck that.

These guys play a brand of music which is Metal from beginning to end, yet not committed to a single style, taking elements of Black, Death and Traditional Metals and fusing them together with minor traces of Jazz, Prog Rock to create some rather enjoyable head-bang friendly music with a delicate hint of eccentricity.

So what’s this album saying then? Well if you’re into fairly fast melodic death Metal with a strong strain of experimentation then this will probably be right up your street. Melody seems to play a prominent role in this album and the whole ends up sounding awfully cheerful, don’t think for one second this is the sort of music you listen to while mutilating captives, masturbating over your preferred filth or indulging in some megalomaniacal fantasy or other. Same goes for troll, demons and anything else like. It goes without saying that it certainly isn’t slit your wrists stuff either.

It’s interesting that among the numerous genres thrown about when describing this band, Doom seems to pop up quite a bit. Going by this release, I’d have to disagree, for although the is merit to such branding to be found in some of their previous works, this is fast and uplifting Metal for Metal’s sake. By no means as heroically inspiring as what you expect with Folk or Power Metal (and thankfully none of the cheese associated with the latter), this is music for pleasant evenings of pumped fists, banged heads and maybe a glass of Pimms.

On the whole, there isn’t anything especially ‘wrong’ with this album, it’s well composed, well played and well produced. Additionally, the vocal work is of a high standard and displays a satisfying level of variety; the growls especially are at times reminiscent of Mikael Åkerfeldt’s fine tones.

The problem for me however, is that there isn’t really anything that stands out on this album either, a stark contrast to the live incarnation of this act which on their night is highly engaging. Admittedly there are moments when this is not the case, but for the majority of the listening time it won’t be difficult to be distracted with other things. I suspect for most this will be a hit or miss release and how much you enjoy it will depend heavily on how passionate you are about your personal preferences.

Definitely a band to check out live and keep an eye out for in the future, but this release doesn’t do them justice.

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01. From The Depths… (intro)
02. Delirium
03. Silent Gods
04. This Wretched Plague
05. Twisted Landscapes
06. Release
07. Dead Inside
08. Parallel Existence (instrumental)
09. Unbroken (A Morbid Embrace)