This one is a fifty for me, but fans of the sub-genres may rate this more highly. The Russia-based band mixes too much Goth into its funeral doom musically and too much la-di-dah talking and whispering into its vocals to be a true doom band. With that said – what sounds to me like a concept album – has too much depth to be dismissed as just another goth act with synthesizers and female vocals.
There are quite strong riffs here as heard on Sweet Embrace Of Cowardice for example. The deep vocals, which are reminiscent of Phlebotomized, add meaning, but it is the whispering and natter alongside the synthesized sounds (including the guitar) that reduce this album’s efficacy. It is slow and brooding at times, heavy or theatrical at others. The aforementioned track has some fine bass rattling along the song. When The Robins begins with a Diamonds And Rustic arrangement before descending to a Metallica-esque crap. It is essentiality a pop song in sensibility. The instrumental Asphalt sounds like water is dripping below while the nazgul shriek overhead. Piper is more theatrical while You Are My Despair bores with the female vocals.
The seventy odd minutes that is Never Pretend would be pretending were it to term itself funeral doom, but gothic doom new age would be an apt description. Metal fans should approach with caution.

Ali “The Metallian”


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