“Staring through… The blank, dispassionate fire…”
A year to this day Shape of Despair came out with their newest masterpiece “Monotony Fields”. This album stands out to me as one of the best funeral doom albums to come out in some time. The emotions and feelings that tumble out of the music is enough to shiver the very depths of my bones. I have never heard such an album with such a thick, oppressive yet depressingly beautiful atmosphere. Through the utter blackness there are pinpoints of light that seem to filter through. This album has been getting repeated listens since it came out in 2015 and will always have a staunch place in my playlists in the foreseeable future.
“Monotony Fields” is one of those albums that regardless of the day or hour still weighs heavily like an anchor in my heart. The music puts me into a state of mind that would be described as empty, introspective, and hopeless. Sometimes I need to feel these emotions to keep my sanity in check, it allows me to find the positive out of the incredibly negative. I believe funeral doom metal has this particular hold on me as well as others. Some do not understand why something so ugly and grim could be an instrument of solace. When you really dive deep into the dreamlike keyboards, the defeated growls and the angelic sopranos in the music then you will immediately understand why “Monotony Fields” is a must listen. Sometimes people do not have an outlet to the rage or sadness they feel inside, bands like Shape of Despair are needed to help others through these dark emotions, to find balance and eventually, hope. When music as good as this grips you it doesn’t let go because the music is telling you that you need to get through this journey and that you are not alone.
I could break down this review song by song but I feel “Monotony Fields” needs to be heard as a whole. You need to take in the crushing depression in the music to understand it is actually helping you navigate the confusion and sadness that you may feel. It helps you get a better understanding of the internal struggles within. Shape of Despair is catharsis incarnate. It is poetry, music, images and intangibles that are sometimes hard to fathom and rationalize about. But it brilliantly puts that puzzle together in all its dark, despondent glory. The music is not just music, it is the psyche of every human being, regardless of background and upbringing…
“ Your name is written, with the language of longing…”