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Skepticism: Ordeal

Album Review

Eat, sleep, grave, defeat

They may not regard their status as anything to smile about, but Skepticism have contributed as much as anyone to the definition and growth of funeral doom.

The inherent nature of the subgenre dictates that obscurity is a desirable commodity, and yet the sheer quality of the Finns’ output over the years, not to mention the expansion of the online grapevine since 2008’s Alloy, means that Ordeal is likely to receive more attention than any of the band’s previous works. The fact that these songs were recorded live at Klubi in Turku, Finland at the beginning of this year ensures that there is a talking point here beyond the usual snail’s pace riffs and crucifying melancholy, but such is the clarity and power of the sound with which these six new tracks and two old classics have been rendered, that Ordeal feels less like a live album and more like the vivid manifestation of all those clichés about snapshots in time and the capturing of a band’s essence, mid-evolution. 

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