Cemetery Fog - Towards the Gates (12” MLP) (2014)
Iron Bonehead Productions 1st August 2014
Review by Trevor Proctor
Finland’s Cemetery Fog is a two piece group that plays an original blend of warped, blackened doom with death metal influences – in March of this year I had the pleasure of reviewing their demo “Shadows from the Cemetery”. This was released in a limited quantity of 300 on cassette by Iron Bonehead Productions, who had heard the self-released demo and decided to give this extremely talented band an official, higher profile release.
At this stage I hoped it wouldn’t be long before a further release would be scheduled and thankfully the 1st of August sees Cemetery Fog return with a MLP, again from Iron Bonehead and hot on the heels of Shadows from the Cemetery.
Towards the Gates starts with an eerie piano intro which is used to help create a creepy, weird atmosphere, setting the stage for thirty minutes of accomplished, diverse and extremely well-constructed death influenced doom. Aside from this intro and subsequent outro the remaining three tracks average over eight minutes each; the first of which is Withered Dreams of Death. Quite a doomy track to start with its well suited to the anguished vocals and keyboard tones in the background though the beauty with Cemetery Fog’s music lies within their variation of both tempo and style; illustrated perfectly by the twists and turns during this track and when we combine this with the occasional background acoustic and keyboard sections it makes for a very varied and compelling listen – no matter how long Cemetery Fog’s tracks are they’re never ever boring or repetitive.
Embrace of the Darkness follows suit with further fluctuation between style and pace, then four minutes in they hit you out of the blue with a moment of beauty and serenity featuring a stunning piano led acoustic section; a moment of sheer brilliance and further proof of the varied yet extensive ability and vision of this band.
Cemetery Fog pulls another rabbit out of the hat during the next track, Shadow of Her Tomb; it’s a heavy, slow, doom track to begin with it that soon gives way to yet another moment of beauty when a female vocal kicks in, bringing another change in style that’s a brave yet ingenious piece of song writing. It’s this ingenuity and ambition that impresses me the most about Cemetery Fog; this is a band prepared to take risks yet they seem comfortable doing so and carry it off with the greatest of ease – there’s more than enough richness and variation in their music to prove they’re a band destined for greatness.
I thoroughly enjoyed the demo but this MLP blew me away; since reviewing Shadows from the Cemetery I’ve been patiently waiting to hear more from this band and thankfully there’s no disappointment – fan as I am of their previous release with Towards the Gates Cemetery Fog have taken their abilities to another level altogether; improved production combined with their original death-doom, varied dynamics, female vocals and other little snippets of sound and effects creates a further depth and richness to their sound than previously heard. Every band needs to make a progression when moving from demo to official release and Cemetery Fog have done this without a hitch, this is a faultless release – now all we have to do is what for their debut full length album.
Absolutely stunning from beginning to end.
1 – Intro
2 – Withered Dreams of Death
3 – Embrace of the Darkness
4 – Shadow of Her Tomb
5 – Outro: Towards the Gates
Cemetery Fog - Towards the Gates 12” MLP is released by Iron Bonehead Productions on 1st August 2014.