Shroud of Despondency are a band from Milwaukee, Wisconsin that has been featured before in this zine which also continues their progressive black metal sound on this recording while also bringing in thrash, death metal, folk and neo-classical elements and this is a review of their self released 2014 album "Tied to A Dying Animal".
The album starts out with distorted sounds before adding in a darker and heavier sound which is brings in a blackened feeling as well as all of the musical instruments sounding powerful and melodic leads and then the music goes for a more fast and old school black metal sound along with high pitched screams which also use death metal growls at times.
As the album progresses you can hear a great amount of Morbid Angel and other death metal in influences being added into the music while also bringing in even more melody and keeping the black metal sound which also leads to a blackened death metal direction while the focus is more on the black side through the first batch of songs while also having elements of thrash and progressive rock and at the end of part one of the album there is a movie sample.
When the album goes into the second part the music starts going into a more neo folk direction along with a great amount of classical music influences with acoustic guitars becoming the lead instrument while there are also folk instruments and synths being utilized and the second side is mostly instrumental while you can still hear a small amount of vocals being used on certain songs as well as some spoken word samples and you can also hear a great amount of finger picking and full chords coming out of the guitars.
As we get more into the second part you can hear a small amount of electric guitars briefly being mixed in with the acoustic parts along with more vocals and spoken word parts after awhile and on one song they bring in a modern neo classical feeling similar to Death In June as well as bringing in an electronic guitar lead on a couple of the songs.
When the album goes into the bonus tracks the music starts going for more of a dark ambient and experimental direction before adding in a great amount of black metal parts and grim vocals as well as some doom metal in the guitar riffing which also leads up to melodic solos and leads and as time goes on by death metal growls are brought into the music along with more progressive parts.
As we got more into the other bonus tracks they return to a more instrumental neo folk direction as well as bringing in shamanistic, tribal elements and nature sounds which add more power to these tracks.
With this double album Shroud Of Despondency show off 2 sides of their sound with part one being black metal and part 2 being neo folk and they show a great amount of skill, talent, variety and originality with all of the songs they bring onto the recording and on the last track to make a return to black metal.
Song lyrics cover the despair and alienation of city life, while the production has a very strong, powerful and heavy sound where you can hear all of the musical instruments that are present on this recording as well as some of the songs being long and epic in length.
In my opinion this is another great sounding recording and if you are a fan of black metal and neo folk, you should check out this double album. RECOMMENDED TRACKS INCLUDE "A Man Can Dream" "Long Hours" "Prominent Cross" and "The Unrewarding". 8 out of 10.