Depressed Mode are a Finnish doom/death/prog metal band. Formed in 2005 as a solo project of Ossy Salonen, the band released two albums in the few years after before going silent through the 2010s. However, the band returned this last week with their first album in over a decade, and titled it accordingly! I’m not particuarly familiar with the band so I’m excited to be checking it out!
‘Death Walks Among us’ opens on a beautiful orchestral piece. It builds and builds perfectly. But, at a minute-and-a-half before the guitars and drums come in, it may be just a tad long. The strings continuing on in the back is an excellent touch, made even better moments later when the lead guitar harmonises with it. It then heads into full-on doom metal for the verse, the low growls also bringing in the death element. Surprisingly though, there were some clean vocals in here too. Not many, but it broke things up a bit and added a catchy element to it all.
The chuggy, almost breakdown part afterwards was fantastic. The growls fit in well and the violins when they come back in. The cleans come back in for what I assume is the chorus before and it even leads to a pretty sweet guitar solo, even if it was a tad short. The final chorus with the duelling clean and harsh vocals was FANTASTIC and rounds out one hell of an opening track. This is everything I could possibly want out of the heavier side o metal. It was heavy, packed full of great riffs and great screams. But, to top it off, it has some great clean vocals and a real epic feel to it thanks to the strings. The easiest playlist I’ve done in a while!
‘Endless November’ starts off slow but still heavy. The clean vocals remain too, reminding me of Tobias Forge in their higher, harmonised delivery. A higher, more female-led symphonic metal vocal adds even more depth to it. It plays off the other clean perfectly. It has a very black/doom metal vibe about it all. And it benefits from being on the proggier side length wise too, as the pace doesn’t really pick up until a few minutes in, the harsh vocals not coming in until after that. They’re pretty far back in the mix though, almost treated like another instrument. The operatic female vocal takes the lead here in a big way, giving us an even catchier chorus than the previous tracks! The whole song is more like symphonic metal than anything else, doom being the next closest. It’s epic and a lot of fun, another great song!
‘Dissociation of the Extinguished Mind’ is another one with an epic opening, even having a pretty great guitar solo around the one minute mark. It stays slow for the verse and the growls return. There’s a great riff that comes in around the mid-point of the song, the lead guitar following the string accompaniment perfectly. There’s the odd vocal line and sound as well behind it, spoken word kinda style, and it really reminds me of Faith no More. The clean vocals afterwards added a nice change of pace, and again when they go back to them later, and around it are more heavy, growled verses. It fading out to a piano outro was also fantastic, adding an epic, creepy finale to things. Good stuff!
The piano continues on into the intro of ‘As the Light Dims’, and the violin over the top makes it all so beautiful. The guitars come in over the top, as do the female vocal lines. The dynamics of the track are fun, heading into some growls before dropping back down to the piano and female ‘ooo’s and ‘ahhh’s. It builds back up again with the Ghost-like clean vocals and huge distorted guitar chords. At one point all three vocal styles are duelling and it sounds AMAZING. The whole track is heavy, proggy greatness.
Unfortunately, this is where the album peaks for me. Don’t me wrong, the following five tracks are all awesome, and I will definitely be listening to them again a few times after this. Heck, the riff for ‘Serpents’ is my favourite on the whole album, and the track is a highlight for sure. And it was nice to have some more upbeat tracks again like ‘Eternal Darkness’. However, there are a lot of slower parts throughout the album. Anyone who visits this site reguarly knows that my patience for this type of music isn’t the best. It’s all fantastically written and awesome to listen to, but nine songs clocking in at over an hour is a little much for me all in one sitting!
Overall: As I’ve said, this was awesome. It was an epic, heavy, very well-written album full of everything you could ask for from the sub-genre. A fantastic return after well over a decade away!
The Score: 8/10
Did you enjoy our review? Keep up to date on all of them on our Facebook here.