Shape Of Despair stream their game-changing new album in full

Funeral doom - it’s not all doom and gloom, you know. Admittedly, it’s mostly about doom and gloom, but at its best and most resonant, it’s also about rehabilitation, about coming though the dark night of the soul to the other side.

Following on from the likes of 40 Watt Sun and Little Rock Akansas’s miserablists du jour (well, probably nuit), Pallbearer, Finland’s Shape Of Despair have come out of long hibernation with their first full album in 11 years, enticingly titled Monotony Fields, and like their newfound peers, have found deep wells of emotional catharsis that transcend genre boundaries to reach something universal.

Due for all kinds of release on June 15, via Season Of Mist, this, however, is an album that will take your across soulful thresholds and into humbled yet revelatory realms no matter what your general disposition might be. Yes, it might move at the stately pace of cement being pumped through a broken heart, but the classic, abyssal vocals are joined by Natalie Koskinen’s choral chants that could soothe the the most jagged of internal terrains. It’s also all drenched in an orchestral splendour that sounds like most vast of skies above churning in sympathy, and moves into sacrosanct emotional spaces at the cusp of blood-red dusk and golden dawn, where true healing can begin.

Monotony Fields is one of the most transformative and time-stopping albums you’ll hear all year, and we are deeply proud to stream the album in its full, I’ve-just-realised-I’ve-been-staring-into-space-for-the-last-hour glory, so give yourself to Shape Of Despair, for salvation is at hand!

Undergo a rite of renewal at Shape Of Despair’s Facebook page here

And complete the process by pre-ordering Monotony Fields here

Jonathan Selzer

Having freelanced regularly for the Melody Maker and Kerrang!, and edited the extreme metal monthly, Terrorizer, for seven years, Jonathan is now the overseer of all the album and live reviews in Metal Hammer. Bemoans his obsolete superpower of being invisible to Routemaster bus conductors, finds men without sideburns slightly circumspect, and thinks songs that aren’t about Satan, swords or witches are a bit silly.