‘Stygian Dreams’ contains seven songs of sorrowful ‘Gothic’ Doom/Death Metal of the gloomiest kind. This forlorn manifesto showcasing the band as one of the most interesting acts in the genre today. The Finnish trio music formula comprises early Katatonia, Anathema, My Dying Bride and Tiamat influences, yet keeping a distinctive feature in their sound. Don’t be fooled by the somewhat clean riffage and melodic solos, they are just a wishful thinking before the whole thing sink down again in the gloomy pit. Harsh and melancholic screams enhance the hopelessness of the whole thing, throwing tuneful keyboards in their desperate sonic cauldron, heightened by a good hint of finnish renowned “masennus” (read, depression).
Analogically recorded in Finland and definitely mixed at The Devil’s Mark Studio in Rome (Demonomancy, Destroyer 666).
Cover artwork doesn’t need to be presented, used with kind permission of The Leicester Galleries.
Listen to this will give you the feeling to sail between Styx’s waters, as well as being in the sight of Persephone, crowned with a garland of asphodels.
Asphodelus are death doom for the lost souls, inspired by the gloominess of the British death/doom, the mysticism of the ancient Greek cult and the depression of the 90’s Finnish death metal. From the start, the band has shown a confident drive and passion for their thing, making music that speaks to the fans of the old school giants like Anathema, Katatonia, Paradise Lost and the Greek bands, but still not sounding unoriginal or bland -the band has their own vision and ethos.
Three youngsters started the band by the name Cemetery Fog in the small Finnish town of Hamina in 2012. In the early days the death in their death doom was more present, and the gloomy, menacing atmosphere of the self-released demos ‘Journey To Hell, Sepulchral Full Moon’ and ‘Shadows From The Cemetery’ convinced many fans both in Finland and elsewhere, and the band quickly gained a cult following.
The raw and determined no-nonsense approach landed a deal with the German label Iron Bonehead that reissued the long-sold out tape ‘Shadows From The Cemetery,’ than released the first mini-album as Cemetery Fog, entitled ‘Towards The Gates’ on vinyl, while the cd edition was released by TFH Records. On this work, the band progressed to a more majestic sound, increasing melancholy and haunting atmospheres. This release was well-received as well.
The progress of the subtle changes in the style towards what some could call a more mature sound lead the band to change their name to Asphodelus. The mini-album ‘Dying Beauty & The Silent Sky’ showed the band’s evolution to even more melancholic and mournful atmosphere. The release has been well-received like the previous ones, gaining great reviews and fans from around the world.
Cultivating their craft further, the band released a promo tape titled ‘The Veil Between The Worlds’ in 2017. The style was even more gothic in nature, this time containing violin and kantele were seamlessly used in the songs. The song compositions on the promo appear on the debut album, ‘Stygian Dreams.’ The band’s art has developed quite a lot from the early days and even from ‘Dying Beauty & The Silent Sky’: the album is ethereal, original and full of pain and catchy melodies. The sombre quest.
Read our review here.