Shattered Hope is a Greek Death Metal-inspired Funeral Doom quintet, not unlike their Swedish counterpart, Doom:VS, who was founded about the same time. By the numbers however, Shattered Hope came first, first seeing the light of day in 2002 when they released their first Demo. A significant amount of time has passed since then – Almost a decade inbetween their first release and this, their second Full-length release, carrying the very apt title Waters of Lethe (with Lethe being one of the five rivers of Hades, the Greek Mythology’s underworld; Specifically, the river that, when drunk from, will cause you to lose your memories). The name of this album alone was more than enough for me to be drawn to it – And from the very first, carrying tone played on the track ”Convulsion”, I knew that this was an album I would have to find room for up on the mantle.
In true Funeral Doom fashion, Waters of Lethe contains a grand total of six tracks, averaging around twelve to thirteen minutes apiece – Adding up to a run-time just shy of one hour and twenty minutes. Yet the slow, monotonous and menacingly oppressive chords that are being mercilessly drawn out throughout the entire playtime has the excellent quality of pulling you ind, submerging you deep in its feelings of melancholy and depression, an overall state of mind that is only amplified by the lyrical themes circulating around sadness, darkness and, indeed, depression.
As is to be expected from a Funeral Doom band, Shattered Hope likes to keep it almost unbearingly slow, oppressive and heavily atmospheric – And their decade-long search for perfection in achieving this prior to writing and releasing this record was time well spent, seeing as how they managed to make an immensely enticing little slice of pure depression and oppression, then proceeded to release it in musical form. Granted, by todays standards, Shattered Hope delivers nothing that has not been seen before – But that can probably be put down to the fact that they seem to be one of the more pioneering bands within the genre, incing ahead by a single year in front of even my beloved Who Dies In Siberian Slush – And I whole-heartedly support this album and this band, now that I know they exist.
Recommended for fans of Who Dies In Siberian Slush, Doom:VS and, to some extent, Bell Witch.