One of my favourite albums in the gothic doom metal scene, the Russian group Amederia go for the usual gloomy beauty and the beast vocal style established by Theatre of Tragedy and Draconian on their debut, whilst delivering long tracks of sombre, melancholy metal. Standing out from the pack with a synth and piano laden approach, taking influence but certainly not worshipping the established bands, it’s a great debut release.
The opening track In, is a solo piece for piano, far from an intro it’s a great fully fledged track in its own right, a soft repeated classical melody on the higher end of the keyboard, picking up in speed and insistence as the track goes on and setting the place for the melancholy to come on the first metal track, the twelve minute Doomed Ground. Opening with darker and more melancholy piano with more of a minimalist sound, and strings, spoken whispered word from Damir Galeev opens it up before a thick gothic layer of keyboards and slow guitar chords fill the speakers with a wide and melancholy sound, slow drums in a funeral doom style further delivering the gloom as both growls from Galeev and high pitched operatic vocals from Gulnaz Bagirova take centre stage against the gloomy atmosphere developed by the instruments. The high trill to Bagirova’s voice is great, soaring above the music, while Galeevs growls are the slow guttural style one associates with the funeral doom greats. When the guitars increase in tempo with a long sparse riff and the bass plays expressively over the top it injects some needed energy into the gloom and the track really starts to unfold. In true doom style it takes time for each riff and passage to unfold, but with the great riffs they don’t get old on repetition, the synths constantly accentuating the dark atmosphere of the track. Some mournful leads are dredged out of the guitar to the same melody of Bagirova’s voice, while as it gets faster and more aggressive Galeev takes over to deliver more guttural force.
While most of the tracks follow the same style with synth drenched dark atmosphere with great gloomy power chord laced riffs, slow mournful leads, and more of that great expressive piano weaving it’s way through, especially on the gorgeous Dreams, there’s a good bit of variety between them. And So I isn’t so heavy, with fewer growls and the synths having much more of a presence than the guitars with a twinkly tremolo effet to them ,while Cold Emptiness serves as an interlude with more male spoken word and lovely clean vocals from Bagirova against choral synths. The closer Lovely Angel like the opener is another piano piece with a slow, beautiful melody this time accompanied by bright celestial synth pads in a great instrumental piece.
Amederia may owe a lot to their forebears in the beauty and the beast vocal style of metal such as Draconian and Theatre of Tragedy, but their focus on synthwork and piano, ability to weave fantastic textures and atmospheres, as well as the funeral doom metal influence in the drumming and vocals sets them apart as a great band in their own scene. An essential addition to any gothic doom metal fan’s collection.