Shape Of Despair ‎– Monotony Fields -CD


Monotony Fields is a masterpiece of atmosphere, melancholy, doom and beauty. Although all 8 tracks are strong enough to stand on their own, Shape of Despair has created a musical journey that is best experienced as a whole. This is music driven by feeling and thus creates immense power and resonates with the listener. Even after I have finished listening to this album, I find myself thinking about it and how great it is.

I have always found that music's worth cannot be determined by its technicality. The simplest of riffs or melodies can have the greatest impact on one's heart. Shape of Despair understand this. The keyboards, female vocals and guitar leads beautifully float over simple, yet crushing rhythms. The guitars, bass and drums all work together perfectly and I really couldn't complain about any of them. The sound is massive and when I turn the volume up to that point of it being "just right", the music flows right through and I can feel the essence of the doom genre. The band, though obviously having been around the block a few times and know what they are doing, have captured magic here. It may sound like I am gushing, but there is just something special about this album that speaks to me. And having read a lot of the positive buzz that this album is getting elsewhere, I guess I am not the only one that feels this way.

The vocals provided by Natalie Koskinen are haunting, beautiful and help create the atmosphere in an almost ghostly manner. Lead singer Henri Koivula unleashes devastating growls and some very nice clean vocals as well in a couple of the tracks. Sami Uusitalo, Jarno Salomaa and Tomi Ullgrén all work together to provide massive guitar/bass riffs and chords as well as lead work that helps the songs stick with you. Jarno's keyboard work is absolutely amazing and take the album to a higher place. They, along with Natalie's vocals, are the emotional backbone of the band's music. Drummer Samu Ruotsalainen plays it straight, but that is by no means a negative. It is another example of all the individual elements working together to craft this juggernaut of an album.

I can't even type out my favourite songs of the album as once I start I will find myself typing out the entire track listing. Though I will say that if you want a good indication of what the album sounds like, the opening song Reaching the Innermost is a great song to check out.

In closing, I highly encourage anyone who is a fan of doom, symphonic, and/or atmospheric metal to check this album out. I just finished listening to it and I already feel like listening to it again. All success that Shape of Despair have gained and will hopefully continue to achieve is well deserved. They have created a monumental album.