Bereft - Lands album review

Blackened doom explorers still consulting their maps

Cover art for Bereft - Lands album

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Not to be confused with the other Berefts skulking in dark corners of the metalsphere, Wisconsin’s Bereft play doom occasionally pierced by shards of black metal. Following 2014’s Lost Ages, Bereft have grown as songwriters and the blending of their influences has become more natural. Additionally, the acquisition of Michael Kadnar (Black Table, Downfall Of Gaia) as a session drummer has greatly impacted the dynamism of the new songs. Kadnar lays down punctuating orchestration beneath hulking riffs which often rival Pallbearer’s power and his sharp blastbeats are unleashed when the song calls for it. The vocals of guitarists Zach Johnson and Alex Linden, an Aaron Turner-esque bellow and a higher-pitched scream, converge consistently and their interplay is something that could be honed further along with improving the underwhelming lead work. Although Bereft do lose their way at times, consumed by their ambitions, Lands is a positive development for the band.