REVIEW: Shores of Null – Quiescence

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SHORES OF NULL’s debut album, “Quiescence,” originally released on March 24th, 2014 via Candlelight Records, has been reissued on vinyl by Spikerot Records and new artwork and two variants on vinyl are going to be available starting from March 4th, 2022. Although being the very first work of the Italian act, “Quiescence” always sounds – to my ears – like the outcome of the shared effort of five very experienced musicians and, to be honest, it is undeniable as a matter of fact: each one of the band members was, at that time, already familiar with music business, each being part of various acts for a considerable amount of time prior.

Several influences ended up being canalized in a unique blend of melodic death metal, doom metal, Gothic metal, and a hint of prog. Some harmonized vocals here and there are somewhat reminiscent of ALICE IN CHAINS, but in a completely different kind of environment where KATATONIA, PARADISE LOST, and SENTENCED can be seen as the main influences. As a result, it is quite impossible for me to say which subgenre this album belongs to and it is, in my opinion, an absolute strength. Lyric-wise, the album is as dark and melancholic as a metal album should be, but there is something deeply positive and bright on a closer look: frontman and lyricist Davide Straccione is able to paint apocalyptic landscapes with words, where feeling completely lost is some kind of a starting point (the name of the band itself is about “starting again from scratch”), but in the end, there’s an underlying uplifting attitude that can be easily summarized in the final track, Eudaemonia”: “Give a boost to bliss. Overcome the mayhem. Chase your happiness. Enjoy your isolation…”

Even if there are no weak songs on this album, one that kind of stands out is track 5: “Ruins Alive,” loosely inspired by the earthquake that, back in 2009, struck the town of L’Aquila, which is not far from the frontman’s hometown. This event touched many people’s lives, not only on the material level; the awareness of how fragile we are is clearly and beautifully expressed in the lyrics: “Ash and debris / the state of things to come / we are the brave kids / misfortune by our side.” Stendhal syndrome applies to music as well, sometimes, and it’s even more manifest when the videoclip by Sanda Movies is taken into consideration.

SHORES OF NULL did evolve as a band for sure, as they proved thanks to their latest work, “Beyond the Shores (On Death and Dying),” a 38-minute long single track album which was released in late 2020, but “Quiescence” can still be considered one of the strongest debut albums in the last 10 years, due to its thoroughness and coherency: a solid starting point that managed to give the band a well-deserved boost.

Written by Licia Mapelli

Tracklist

  1. 0x0000
  2. Kings of Null
  3. Souls of the Abyss
  4. Night Will Come
  5. Ruins Alive
  6. Quiescent
  7. The Heap of Meaning
  8. Time is a Wasteland
  9. Pain Masquerade
  10. Eudaemonia

Lineup

Davide Straccione – vocals

Gabriele Giaccari – guitars

Raffaele Colace – guitars

Matteo Capozucca – bass

Emiliano Cantiano – drums

Label

Spikerot Records

Links

Official Website
Facebook
Instagram
Bandcamp
Youtube