In the desolate, haunting soundscapes of doom metal, Chlad stands as somewhat of a monument to the genre's darkest and most contemplative depths. The Czech group‘s 4th release Morana is a slow-burning odyssey through melancholy and despair, accompanied by the power of heavy, hypnotic riffs, and mournful atmospheres. With a tracklist featuring six somber compositions, Chlad invites listeners to immerse themselves in a realm of deep introspection and sad reflection of the past, present, and the darkness of the future.
The journey into the abyss begins with Marnost a zmar (Vanity and Ruin), an ominous-sounding composition full of slow-paced and deep, heavy guitar chords. Listeners are introduced to the vocals halfway through this track, and the vocalist doesn’t disappoint. All of the songs are sung in Czech, but this shouldn’t dissuade anyone, even fans of doom who are used to lyrics sung in English. The vocals are shrouded in anguish with a bit of an echo effect, and the plodding pace of the music creates a sense of relentless despair, setting a melancholic tone for the album. Hasnoucí slunce (Extinguished Sun) follows and is played even slower, kind of like stoner rock with an apparent ambience of doom. Like the previous track, it is around 5 minutes long, although there are longer tracks on the Ep, such as the title track Morana, which clocks in at just over 10 minutes and concludes the album much like it begins—melancholic and desperate.
And keep in mind that this type of music is focused on a slow-heavy beat and minor tonalities that is not intended to conjure haunting images of witchcraft or things that go bump in the night. Doom metal is more about the things we dread and our own paranoia. It also has many elements of pschydelia woven throughout it, and Chlad definitely performs their craft very well, showcasing brooding soundscapes that are simultaneously captivating and agonizing. To some listeners, the album may come across a bit slow and repetitive, but all you need to do is turn off the lights and crank up the volume. A little weed wouldn’t hurt either.
In fact, the band's ability to convey profound sorrow through their music is nothing short of remarkable. Each track on the album contributes to a hauntingly beautiful journey through darkness and introspection. Other tracks, such as Pohřební pochod poražených (Funeral march for the defeated) and Pád trůnu (Fall of the Throne) ensure the melancholy doesn’t fade, in fact, they may even leave you in a state of emotional exhaustion and longterm sadness.
And so, anyone wishing to experience the power of doom metal and evoke deep emotions, will find themselves immersed in a truly immersive experience. Chlad's Morana is a must-listen for fans of the genre and anyone seeking a musical journey into the abyss.