Anyway, when My Life's Despair was formed in 1994, Larshus couldn't find other musicians to complete his band. Obsessed by slow, heavy music, he started learning other instruments besides drums and writing songs while continuing to drum in several bands. Work on songs went pretty slow because of all this, resulting in o,ly three demos and one e.p. However, when he started cooperating with longtime friend, N. Sanity, things suddenly kicked off and this full-length saw the day of light.
The music on 'Invoked with Passion and Pain' is an interesting throw back into the glorydays of dark metal and remind me of the bands I mentioned earlier. Yet, My Life's Despair still likes going into some extremes, mainly in the blackened vocals. Opener 'As Flames Ignite' is a very strong gothic doom song, blending elements from goth rock, melodic metal and doom and both grunts and female vocals.
This process is repeated eight more times, with mixes success by they way. 'A Caress Of Stars' reminds me of Tiamat in their 'Clouds' era, probably because of the similar sound of the guitars. This is another decent song, also borrowing from the bizarre avant garde gothic scene where Christian Death roamed. 'Patterns In The Chaos' takes on a more doom metal orientated approach, coming close to bands like Saturnus or even My Dying Bride.
Yet, I said 'with mixed success' and there is indeed a 'however' in this review. 'She Said Forever' for example isn't really a good song, or something's wrong with it. Somehow it feels like this is an older songs, dating from the beginning of the solo-project that this band used to be. Here it becomes clear that My Life's Despair is not at full capacity yet. To his defense, there are some very nice passages to it but the whole just doesn't feel right.
'No Hope For Tomorrow' digs even more into the gothic rock sound, leaving the grunts and desortion behind, which is actually a welcome chance and maybe a glimpse into the future of this project. 'Regrets' is a decent song again, with again some great passages, but here too I feel that the whole is a bit too basic to convince. Same goes for the production by the way. This music could use a better sound.
So maybe this is the first time that I'm torn between liking and disapproving an album. In my opinion, My Life's Despair is a decent gothic doom metal band which incorporates all the right elements to become a decent player in the genre but they still have a long way to go. Given time and effort, I really believe that they could become a force to be reckoned with and hope they prove me wrong with a stunning live performance or a smashing follow up to this quite promising debut.