30 Jan 2022 - Thorsten
Oriental Doom, Blackened Doom | Grazil Records | Release date: 17 Dec 2021 | Favorite song: Love Of My Life
This record kind of closes the circle for me for this month as my first review of the month was on Dakhma‘s new album and on this last review for the month some similar kind of blackened doom metal with lots of Middle-Eastern influences can be heard. German-based band Tears of Fire gives us some cleverly arranged songs full of samples, sounds and strings!
Relics of Ancient Love is an album by a band that started out in Iran more than twenty years ago – and this band was buried after its head Magus “Lord Faustoos” Crowley was criminalized and even imprisoned for unholy and morally wrong music. After he finally left Iran, he needed some time before reforming his project again which he did in his new home Berlin but the band remains an international affair, with band members located in three different countries and releasing in a fourth one.
The record consists of songs inspired by old Persian love songs and in some ways they sound like an adoration of the lost home, mixed with the experience of India where he fled to with a fake passport. You can hear that best in tracks like the opening string melancholy ”Assa Din” or the fourth track, ”Love of my Life”, especially in the later one with its wonderful choir passage. However, sometimes one must admit that the clean vocal passages are a bit weak – here the track ”Ziggurat” serves as a good examples: the clean mantra like clean vocals are weaker and a bit duller than the blackened screams, that might even be a problem of the mix, as the vocals are placed more in the background. When the track picks up pace after the middle the whole song gains traction with the more pronounced blackened screams. These are also the moments, when Dakhma might come to mind most easily. There is something about the drumming, the melody given by the string arrangement and the high-pitched screams that you might also associate with the HUC-project from Zurich, Switzerland.
The record slows down a bit in the second half, especially with the long, rattling and clanking track ”Bote Chin” which sounds like a lament for a love long lost. Nevertheless, there are also some highlights to be found here, like ”Kiss Me For the Last Time” with its long, meandering, smokes of fire illuminating the blood red clouds in the sky. This track is closer to Lifelover than it is to Swallow The Sun and a good example of blackened funeral doom, if you ask me.
The production of Relics Of Ancient Love could sometimes be a clearer, because it sounds very lo-fi, but in some ways that might also be part of the reason, why the record sounds to charmingly old-school. If you are looking for another example of Middle-Eastern influences in metal, and do not want to go for something cheesy but rather something more long-lasting, then give this international comeback-project a listen!