This review was originally written by Marco Gaminara for Ave Noctum November 20 2014.
“The first thing that struck about this album was the fact that I was actually holding it in my hands. Second was the quality of the digipack box containing it. I guess I’m just getting nostalgic for tactile music, but mostly having a 12″ album sleeve where you could actually appreciate the effort that went into the artwork, most of the time. But I digress. This 5 track album by the Kiev based brainchild of Polish guitarist and vocalist Stanislav Govorukha was mixed and mastered in the UK by Greg Chandler and features Stanislav Kuksa on bass and Eugene Dmitriev on guitar along with guest violinist Alisa Kryvoshey. Musically it’s dark and lumbers under the weight of the doom and gloom of cold harsh winter. Beautifully morose and uplifting.
Opening title track “Inner Sanctum” is slow and steady with plenty of guitar harmonies being played over some of the heaviest sounding riffs out there. The music flows gently from one movement to the next as the vocals range from deep growls to baritone singing with ease.
The 26 minute “Darkness, Pt.1″ and “Darkness, Pt.2″ have the potential to feel a little self-indulgent as they paint a soundscape of misery and woe, but as with many bleak songs of its length, it has many movements and goes from nearly a complete standstill to almost blast beats with a guttural growl that could flay skin if played loud enough, immediately followed like a soothing balm with gentle whispers and single guitar notes.
With hints of early My Dying Bride in the long drawn out guitar notes and majestic violins, “Winter Evening (Soir D’hiver)” has clean vocals that are overpowered by low growls which morph into hoarse whispers as the sun finally sets.
The final track, “Eternity (L’eternite)” features Greg Chandler on ‘growls and guitar’ as the fast, clicky kick drums slow to a more even tempo to keep the song ploughing along at a pace that makes Govorukha’s harsh screeched vocals feel they are in triple time, but once he starts whispering slowly over the picked guitar melody they’ve only reached the midpoint of the song. The second half plods along dragging you with it in its utter hopeless desolation. An exquisite ending to the dirge that it is.
I enjoyed this immensely and while I may have stated this previously, for some reason wallowing in someone else’s misery leaves me feeling strangely less moribund than normal.” – Marco Gaminara (Review on Ave Noctum)
More praise for ‘Inner Sanctum’:
“unquestionably of great value” Aristocrazia Webzine
“[a] blackened void shaped by devastating riffs.” Zwaremetalen
“highly addictive. gloomy, dark, pulled from the depths of doom…” Funeral Drone
“This album will remain high on my list of best doom albums of the year.” -Chris Axe (Axes Leftovers)
“It’s a mature combination of influences, carefully and thoughtfully crafted, which continues to reward with repeated listenings.” 8/10 Doom-metal.de
“This is definitely the death/doom record of the year thus far for me, and I highly recommend getting your hands on it.” 10/10 The Grim Tower