Aris – Vocals
Joe – Drums
Fabi – Bass
Raffi – Guitar
Julius – Guitar
1. Into Death
3. The Turning Goodbye
4. All is Lost
In many cases, doom metal could be defined by the glacial pace of the music.
Slow, deliberate and powerful.
Nothing happens quickly. With that being the case, it is entirely appropriate that Carrion Mother have taken six years to write a follow up to the sludge influenced, ambient doom of their debut album; Koronis.
For their sophomore effort, the Bavarian band have refocused and looked to the roots of their chosen genre, delivering something they refer to as “the true essence of harsh doom.”
Across the span of fifty four minutes – which the musicians have divided into four protracted compositions – Carrion Mother aim to convey an “engrossing sense of experience; a totality that will catapult the listener into the realisation of his own nullity”.
This bleak theme has inspired the title, Nothing Remains, which the band describe as a reference to the most nihilistic message of all – literally, nothing else remains.
It’s a mouth-wateringly bold proposition for any doom fan to consider, especially those who can acknowledge the genre at its most dream-like and transcendental; when taken to its extreme, doom can provide an expansive, existential canvas on which the listener is able paint their starkest contemplations.
An excellent, recent example of this is 2018’s Mirror Reaper by Bell Witch: A masterclass in heavy, atmospheric doom that, for many, has become the measure to which subsequent releases will be set against.
What Nothing Remains has in common with this recent classic, is that it is a deceptively simple album that rewards with repeated listens.
Initially, the four songs hide their treasures inside an apparent similarity from track to track. Each piece of music seems to be built from the same elements, all of which advance at a consistent crawl to form a backdrop over which vocalist, Aris, bellows a formidable roar.
My initial feeling was that the album lacked depth and variety, but each play has revealed new tones and subtle shifts that actually make this an increasingly compelling listen.
The even numbered songs were the first to peak my interest. Schwarzchild takes the solid weight of the opening track and heaves it forward with rolling momentum. Among the crushing mass of music is a subtly uplifting gothic lilt with a blackened inflection to the vocals. This is the first indicator that there are differing influences at play.
All Is Lost is perhaps the most epic and emotive song on the record. Almost fourteen minutes in length, the first section of the song carries a warmth that feels quite close in tone to the aforementioned Bell Witch album. It also reminds me of Monolord and their 2017 Rust album.
The variation on this climatic track was enough to encourage me to go back and start the album again. On my second listen to the opening track, Into Death, the more elusive elements started to come to the fore. Swelling cascades of undulating guitar create tension and the drums break from their steady, funeral pace into driving double time patterns.
At eighteen minutes, the longest song on the album, The Turning Goodbye has a heavy, southern, Sabbath influenced riff that would not sound out of place on a Crowbar album; or, if you dig a bit deeper for a slightly unconventional reference, has a touch of early Soundgarden about it. Don’t be misled though. The savage vocal performance keeps this within the realm of extreme music.
Ultimately, this is a strong and satisfying release that deserves some time on your stereo. Those who give it more than their passing attention will reap the greatest rewards.
Nothing Remains is due for a 2019 release on January 18th. Available on Digipack CD and double vinyl editions