After being impressed with The Drowning’s live show about a year and a half ago in Liverpool, I’ve been eagerly awaiting to hear new material from this talented Welsh five-piece and Senescent Signs absolutely does not disappoint.
It’s been about five years since the band’s last album Fall Jerusalem Fall, yet somehow Senescent Signs pretty much picks up where its predecessor left off, which is great to witness. Additionally, this is the first album to feature their new vocalist Matt Small, who gives an almighty performance from start to finish, whilst adding a new spin to the band’s recorded sound.
One of the best elements about this album is that The Drowning don’t necessarily stick to one approach with their sound and although the main two genres interwoven into Senescent Signs are doom and death, there’s also nice little symphonic/melodic moments that pop up on occasion, with a good example of this being the tremendous closer The Lament Of Faustus, which begins with a slower introduction with some female vocals paired up with some atmospheric and ambient almost-whispered spoken vocals beneath before the full band kicks in and the music hits you like a tonne of bricks with a great wall of guitars and powerfully delivered vocals before switching back to the softer, more melodic approach – and the track continues in much of the same fashion until it comes to a close.
Another great inclusion on the album is House Of The Tragic Poet. This is a track that plays out as a bit of a mini epic with soaring guitar lines coupled with wonderfully doomy drums, and the deeply growled vocals are juxtaposed tremendously against some choral-style female vocals. Additionally, the sections of the song that have a purely melodic approach, for example in the introduction, give the music that extra sparkle and helps to keep things interesting.
As a whole, this is a mighty album – and although it may havebeen five years since the last album, Senescent Signs is proof that good things come to those who wait.