Dool The_shape_of_fluidity

DOOL - The Shape Of Fluidity


Soul Searching Sun

The Nature of Self-Knowledge. Is it really possible to know who you are? Especially nowadays, considering the fast-paced and dynamic nature of the modern world and its unique complexities like social media, information overload and the renewed rise of conservatism / right-wing populism, that can make the process of free self-reflection and introspection even more difficult.

Do we have to be ”fluid as water to navigate ourselves through this ocean of possibilities and uncertainties – and make peace with chaos and impermanence” to find ourselves and understand who we really are?

The Shape Of Fluidity, the third studio album of the Dutch dark rock band DOOL, revolves around this topic with themes of personal change, physical change, psychological change, and the ever-changing world around us, reflecting the biography of lead vocalist Raven van Dorst: ”Born intersex, doctors at the time assumed that they could surgically determine which kind of life the infant should lead and decided that the child should be a girl. This has led to a life full of soul searching, fighting taboos and breaking boundaries, until recently Raven decided to reclaim that which others have tried so hard to take away from them, and finally embrace their hermaphroditic nature.”

Musically, The Shape Of Fluidity is a seamless and dynamic amalgamation of Alternative Metal, Hard Rock, Doom and Gothic/Post-Punk nuances. Masterfully produced and mixed by Magnus Lindberg (Cult Of Luna, Russian Circles, Tribulation) and mastered by Ted Jensen (Ghost, Mastodon, Muse, Talking Heads, AC/DC), the album has a rich sound with perfectly crafted tempo changes, recurring guitar lines and chord progressions that directly get stuck into your mind. But the highlight are the engaging dynamics in and in-between the tracks. From powerful riffs to fragile interplays and from soaring to serene vocals, you get the whole emotional range in expertly written songs full of high-calibre melodies. DOOL might have found themselves, their sound and identity as a band. In any case it feels very fluid in execution.

In this regard opening track “Venus in Flames” gets straight to the point. After a gradual built-up with the kind of fervent recitating vocals that are reminiscent of Matt McNerney/Hexvessel, you are greeted with heavy riffs, driving drums and doomy low-end bass and Raven´s strong commanding voice in the middle of it all. In the further course the track changes its mood to a more elegic pace with dreamy prog-rock elements and shoegazy tremolos as also Raven´s now strikingly serene and vulnerable vocals. Both “Self-Dissect” and “The Shape of Fluidity” proceed with this infectious formula, while giving it new angles and forms. The former track having guitar lines and mood reminiscent of The Tea Party at their heaviest or Ghost Reveries-era Opeth. The latter incorporating synth soundscapes and twin guitars.

After the interlude “Currents”, DOOL go more straightfoward and upbeat with the Sisters of Mercy/The Cult/Ghost-like “Evil in You”, before turning somber and heavy on atmosphere with “House of a Thousand Dreams”. “Hermagorgon” brings back the doom. Again a track that excels in its grand chorus. “Hymn for a Memory Lost” and “The Hand of Creation” close the album on a dramatic and moody note, with a catchy lead guitar melody in the former and a dark moody Post Metal/Rock-atmosphere in the latter (think of later Callisto).

And while instantly clicking on the repeat button, I can´ help but think about the similarities between DOOL´s The Shape Of Fluidity and Life of Agony´s </i>Soul Searching Sun</i> (1997) in sound and thematical background context (i.e. vocalists). An interesting connection, which ultimately highlights the individuality of both masterpieces of dark and melodic Alternative Metal/Rock.

So while it may be impossible to fully know every aspect of who we are, engaging in self-reflection, exploring our multidimensionality, and embracing the continuous journey of self-discovery can lead to a greater understanding of ourselves. The process of self-knowledge is deeply personal and evolving, allowing us to develop a more authentic relationship with ourselves and the world around us.

Make peace with chaos and impermanence. Like Raven and DOOL seemingly have. Besides all hardships, there is hope. There is the possibility to be one with yourself. Enjoy a melancholic, melodic and heavy rockin´ gem of an album, that is somehow energizing and hopeful at he same time!