Through the Archdemon's Head2012 Dark Descent Records
Dark Descent is really making a name for themselves when it comes to doom/death metal, and this album by Anguish is yet another example of that. In this case, it's the vocals and distortion on the guitars and bass that give Anguish the death metal feeling to their sound. Take that away, and this is pure doom metal that stems from the slowest parts of Candlemass' earliest material. While I don't hear any influence from Asphyx at all in these songs, Anguish did borrow one concept from the Dutch doomsters: a general disdain for guitar solos. I don't think I heard a single one on this recording, or at least nothing that I would have considered a solo. This makes sense to me, as doom is supposed to be all about the lows, and guitar solos tend to be the exact opposite of that. They're too uplifting. You seriously can't call your band something depressing like "Anguish" if your music includes some potentially "happy" elements. Another thing that strikes me is the level of torture I hear in the singer's voice. "Anguish" could well be an understatement. He comes close to the feeling of absolute despair that made Katatonia's "Dance of December Souls" the classic that it is. We're talking a level of torment on a par with "I am the dog that Satan kicks when he comes home after a bad day". Yeah, that's really bad. I don't want to be that guy (or that dog). But all of that makes for some extremely powerful music, and that's something we all crave.