Quote from the band:
“Bleed This Earth, a three piece melodic funeral doom band from Wellington, New Zealand, are back with THE SLOW DECLINE, ourlatest album release.
The Slow Decline was written as a more ambitious and expansive follow up to our well-received debut self-titled album. It features intertwining guitar lines which invoke sadness, despair, and regret, rather than the usual emotions of anger and aggression seen in so many other types of extreme metal.
While the album is just four tracks, the average track length is over 10 minutes long and takes the listener through a journey of a desperate man paying the ultimate price. Melancholic guitar melodies contrast against crushing riffs to run the whole gamut of what melodic funeral doom has to offer. These tracks have been honed through engaging live performances, and we hope an essence of this is captured for you to enjoy here.
For fans of more old-school 90s English doom like My Dying Bride & Anathema, as well as more modern titans like Ahab, Shape of Despair and Mournful Congregation. Prepare to sit and contemplate the meaning of your existence.”
The Slow Decline Review
Artist: Bleed This Earth
Album: The Slow Decline
Release Date: 03/03/2022
Country: New Zealand
Written by James Sweetlove
The Slow Decline, the upcoming album from New Zealand’s Bleed This Earth was my first exposure to the band and I immediately became a fan and knew that I wanted to host this album premiere. The band’s sound reminds me of a slower, heavier version of My Dying Bride who happen to be one of my favourite bands. Their music contains their melodic aspects and emotion laden guitar tone. However, things move at a more funeral doom like pace and have that level of creeping depressive energy reminiscent of Mournful Congregation.
The vocals on the album are also definitely on the funeral doom side of death doom, feeling as if they are slowly escaping from a person slowly being buried in their grave still barely holding onto life. They are guttural yet cavernous and atmospheric, feeling drawn out and breathy as vocals of this nature should.
The band do a fantastic job of creating an immersive and all-encompassing atmosphere on the release. The level of depressive energy is almost palpable with how thick it is. There’s a haunting sort of essence to it, that really adds some extra depth to the overall sound of the release. All of this is accentuated by the level of emotion captured in the album’s guitar tone.
I should clarify that I mean in the more melodic, cleaner guitar work. The band features two guitarists, one of which keeps the heavy oppressive atmosphere in play with slower, crushing reverb. The other guitarist is the one that gives us that moving and crisper guitar work. However, without the heavier, more depressive guitar work that beautiful contrast between the two would not exist and the album wouldn’t be nearly as moving as it is.
Lastly, we have the drum work on the album which many people seem to disregard on funeral doom albums. I think this is a huge error in judgement, as I think that sometimes minimalism is more complicated to get right than excess. It requires that when the drum work is present, that it is as impactful as possible and that is something that has been achieved on this album. Each crash, hammer and thud feel extremely deliberate and purposeful and makes a huge difference to the music.
While the album only features four tracks, they collectively come to over 42 minutes in total length. Each one is a depressive journey that the listener must embark on. Each slowly unfolds and evolves as they progress. Don’t expect sudden changes and shifts but listen for flourishes, highs and lows, peaks, and troughs throughout each track.
Overall, this was a solid release from a band that I am very glad to have discovered. If you’re a funeral doom or death doom fan of any capacity, then check this out. Yet one more quality act for New Zealand to add to its impressively full belt.
Listen to and order the album: