Second full length album from Danish doom metallers Altar Of Oblivion. I had never heard this band before listening to this release, so what they've achieved in the past, I have no clue about. Grand Gesture Of Defiance contains five songs clocking in at approximately six to seven minutes and one shorter instrumental track. The production feels like low budget eigthies, but that have no effect on the final result.
The first thing that strikes me is that this sounds pretty much like old school doom metal, starting with When Darkness Is Light. If I dare calling it a mid-tempo song when speaking about doom metal, I will certainly say so. The song's melody and rhythm has many similarities with the second to fourth albums with doom masters Candlemass.
The Graveyard Of Broken Dreams is my absolute favorite song of the album. Lead vocalist Mik Mentor has a superb doom metal voice. Grieving and plaintive. This is a faster track with a great chorus. A cool lead guitar is evident as well and not only in this song, but through most of the album.
In The Shadow Of Gallows shows their slower abilities and I find this song somewhat of a filler. I like the bridge and chorus though, but most of it just doesn't stick, even if it's in no way bad. The Smoke-Filled Room is a semi-acoustic instrumental track with a lead as well, that I don't find interesting at all. Soon forgotten, I must say.
With Sentenced In Absentia we're back on track again. A doomy verse with a slightly faster pre-chorus and an up-tempo chorus. A great way to create excitement. The last song, Final Perfection, is kind of a ballad, but builds up pace with its chorus and a good choice as an album closer.
This is a good album, but just like with many doom metal
releases, it takes a couple of spins before realizing what the hell
this album is about. I've decided to check out their past work as well,
to see what I can find and that is always a good sign.