Faith: Decades Of Despair

Progressive doomsters remain stuck in the doldrums

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Although Swedish gloom merchants Faith originally got together way back in 1984, it took them nearly a decade to release an album. Since then, their work has been sparse to say the least, with Decades Of Despair being only their fourth full-length.

This, apparently, is supposed to explain why they maintain a strictly cult following even after all these years. A more likely scenario is that their obscure, obtuse brand of progressive/symphonic doom is simply too difficult to digest for all but the aforementioned select few.

Walking a fine line between epic and ponderous, the band’s elephantine riffs and mournful melodies fall somewhere between vintage Candlemass and early Anathema, without ever threatening to be as awesome as that sounds. Put simply, they’re desperately trying to do far too much with way too little and the results are mostly plodding, pedestrian and overwrought.

Annoying folk music interludes and a cover of What A Wonderful World that would shame a low-rent lounge band turn this otherwise banal attempt into a real ordeal.