Swedish doom outfit, V, have released their first full-length record, Pathogenisis. Formed of members of KATATONIA, IN MOURNING, and OAK, V should be an incredible project producing incredible doom on paper. Forged by some of the strongest and most popular (with KATATONIA sitting high above in that list) doom/sludge acts that have come from Sweden, there is almost an immediate pressure on V to deliver. A decade-long silence since their last EP, IV, also adds to the excitement for this record to finally be released. Here, we give Pathogenisis a listen to see if this is the case, and how it fares against bands of similar ilk.
Souls Of The Nearly Departed is essentially a 101 on how to open an album. The ominous and melancholy start immediately sets the tone for the album, and you can hear the influences behind V in every note. The strong taste of sludge and doom, with a hint of post-metal as rough growls break through, and sets the bar very high for the rest of the album. It may not be massively new so much as the genres are concerned, but it’s an incredibly solid start to Pathogenisis. The softer sections that follow through the record, with haunting clean vocals floating in the background over a single guitar section in an almost AGALLOCH-like fashion send chills before snapping back to growls and more heavy riffs.
The title track for the record is arguably the most doom-oriented out of the lot, and catches you by surprise as it explores more floaty and calming sections throughout, making it very interesting and varied. V’s musicianship must be commended in this record, as their years of experience within doom and the likes are clear throughout. While Perfect Predator Pattern is an interesting track, with more harsh vocals than on the rest of the record, it doesn’t seem quite to hit as well as the other tracks on Pathogenisis.
Just when you think the album may be falling slightly, the immense Suspended Animation chimes in. Beginning with a (somewhat) calming vibe underneath harsher growls, before altering completely and briefly into a more uplifting mood was quite the surprise in an album such as this. Closing with The Order, which has a little more stoner-rock influence embedded within it, is a strong closer for the record, albeit slightly too long.
Pathogenisis is simply a great record, deeply rooted within doom and sludge by some of the best artists within these genres. Dripping with atmosphere and pulling at the heartstrings wherever possible, while feeding the mind as you listen, it’s a fantastic addition to your collection. While it may not be the most original record, nor does it add anything particularly new to the aforementioned genres, it’s a solid and enjoyable album from (nearly) start to finish, and shows plenty of promise from V’s debut full-length. We can only hope that V don’t keep it as long this time to record new material, as there is something incredibly promising within this project.
Pathogenesis is out now via Suicide Records.
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