11TH HOUR - Burden Of Grief

11th Hour - Burden Of Grief

6 songs
52:37 minutes
***** ****


The 11th Hour is a Dutch-Swedish doom metal duo. Ed Warby used to be in such different bands like Gorefest, Hail Of Bullets and Ayreon. Rogga Johansson can also look back at a decent career in Edge Of Sanity, Demiurg and Paganizer. To widen their already varied musical pasts, they decided to start an old school doom project in the vein of Count Raven (just look at the cover artwork) and Candlemass. While the former plays all the instruments and is in charge of the clear vocals, the latter does the evil growls which eventually distinguishes them from their influences.

Although the CD comes with only six tracks, it still makes it easily over fifty minutes. Only the opener runs less than seven minutes, one piece transcends even the ten minute mark. The two musicians take their time to build up their songs, giving sometimes the impression as if the record were running in slow motion. Especially the low tuned guitars add a lot to the dark and depressive mood. Absolute highlight is the eleven minute long Origins Of Mourning that even features a piano part backed by astonishingly calm vocals, before it takes a turn towards the epic. Weep For Me, doing its name justice, is another great piece due to its sad and sentimental atmosphere, although the growls wake the listener again. You’ll be looking for weaknesses in vain on Burden Of Grief, because the songwriting is to mature and complex to allow such slips. The dismal conclusion of the final Longing For Oblivion makes for a more than satisfying end of this hardly uplifting affair.

Their excellent debut instantly gives 11th Hour a good reputation. It’s therefore a shame that the duo hasn’t right now any plans to perform live. Let’s hope that they will decide to hire session musicians or even new band members because this great band should definitely present their doing on stages all over the world.

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