It’s been expressed that we will die twice; once, physically, and at last when our name is forever forgotten – never to be spoken again. In the wake of Greg Williamson’s death, vocalist of The Slow Death, in 2014, members of the band had embarked on a commendable and sincere path to tribute their fallen friend and band member by creating another connection – a third aspect to Williamson, apart from memory and presence – in the form of music. Illimitable Dolor (a limitless, intense sorrow or distress) is set to share with us this tribute come the 22nd of March.
Doing what they do best with The Slow Death, Stuart Pickett, Dan Garcia and Yonn McLaughlin put their chemistry together of hypnotic, atmospheric doom metal with guitars and drums (Pickett picking up on death metal vocals duties.) But with a little help, they have put together an impressive, woeful, and noteworthy album with Guy Moore (organ keyboards), Peter O’Donohue (guitar) and Daniel Finney (Bass) filling up the line-up.
Rail of Moon, A Stone breaks through the glass a gust of cold wind from the lungs of Illimitable Dolor. An intense gloom fills the air from an organ sweeping over a heavy sludge of riffs and drumming, while Pickett growls longingly in front. The keys bring together the defining atmosphere for the album when present, concluding the verses. This continues until halfway through Come Dies or Shines, the second track, which is shy a minute from the 10-minute opener. The band transits into faster progression in the same light of the established mood – a well-crafted riff to fit the piece. After a few short repetitions, they launch back into the sustaining gloom through the rest of the song. The keys take over most of the space to overlap and create a haunting air, returning to the sludge-heavy riff of Rail of Moon, A Stone to finish it off.
Salt of Brazen Seas and Abandoned Cuts of River ends the album collectively at 25 minutes, both about 12 minutes long. Salt of Brazen Seas shifts the riff and feel to a deeper tone of sombre, yet slightly the heaviness is lifted. Abandoned Cuts of River enters with a dual-guitar riff that is their most vocal insofar, eventually dropping back for keys and growls to takes up the space with an introduction of a solemn and soft whisper of a lighter, clean vocal backup. Illimitable Dolor takes the long walk in deep thought with their most layered track, with just the last two minutes left they build the song back into a final heave of what these musicians do best – doom/death metal.
Illimitable Dolor has achieved not only a stellar album – easily heard that this style is of the essence to them – but a beautiful and reflective album for Greg Williamson.
Illimitable Dolor is releasing their self-titled debut through Transcending Obscurity Records, 22nd March.