Album Reviews : Subterranean Disposition – Contagiuum and the Landscapes of Failure
The debut from Melbourne’s Subterranean Disposition was an enthralling slab of doom with the inclusions of saxophone, female vocals and touches of other outside influences keeping it interesting from beginning to end. Contagiuum and the Landscapes of Failure does exactly what a sophomore album should, it improves on every element and expands the sound even further.
The saxophone is back within the first five minutes to set the mood, it’s a pretty relaxed style of doom after all. There’s moments of aggression and some big riffs but Subterranean Disposition aren’t overly intense nor are there riffs dragging on for countless hours. It’s all on the more melodic end, perhaps coming from some Swedish melodeath influence.
“Embittered Final” is the perfect example of how smoothly Terry Vainoras, the one man behind the band, manages to bring other elements in without it sounding like a departure; Gelareh Pour’s female operatic vocals are stunning and her kemancheh and qeychak alto, both stringed instruments, just work. “All Roads to Perdition” has some latter day Earth to its clean guitar opening while the effects on Terry’s vocals in the middle are almost demonic, and “A Life Long Slumber” is both as beautiful as the title suggests and a display of Terry’s guitar playing. This is doom with a lot of melody.
Ultimately the standout is yet again his vocals. Whether it’s growls, spoken word, cleans, whispers, or effects added on top, it’s constantly evolving and something different in a genre often fronted in a more monotonous manner.
The compositions flow a bit smoother than the debut, the production is thicker and warmer, and the occasional climaxes are more powerful. Contagiuum and the Landscapes of Failure is superb.