Shape of Despair - Illusion's Play (Spikefarm Records) - Back
I just purchased "Illusion's Play", which is the third official release from Finlands' highly acclaimed doom metal masters, Shape of Despair. This album features similar elements to "Angels of Distress" with longer exerts, more melancholia, and a better layout. I also noticed the addition of new bassist, Sami Uusitalo. That said, Shape of Despair is now a six-piece. The album is just over an hour long with 6 new magnificent tracks averaging about 10 minutes apiece. Every track on Illusions Play just lays the depression on you like a huge boulder squashing an ant. The atmosphere is so thick and mesmerizing, I couldn't lure myself to think. Most of everything else is slow, funeral-esque style doom/death similar to that of Thergothon and Skepticism. While the atmosphere and the medleys trade off one another, I found much of the album hard to follow unless I were to just sit in one place for an hour and stare into space. Which in fact what I'll probably do is, put my cd player on continual play over night so I'll have a good soundtrack for my slumber. This certainly isn't a bad thing, but this style is definitely one that you'll have to be in the mood for (as was their last offering). Regardless, this is an absolutely stellar musical offering for those into doom and/or extremely atmospheric music. Recommended highly!

Rating: 89

Reviewed By: Thomas Mitchell