SubRosa hails from Salt Lake City and was formed in 2005 by guitarist and vocalist Rebecca Vernon. Over the years, the band expanded and today there are two violinists among the more traditional instrumentation of guitars, drums and bass. Those violins add something special to the whole thing, which might indeed recommend people of My Dying Bride but goes way further than that. Here, the violins add a sense of eerie chamber music to the whole thing. With that, you might expect some smooth and relaxing tunes but don't forget that SubRosa can also blast out in crushing sludge doom, complete with brutal vocals and brain drilling riffage. And they can do it at the same time, completely confusing the listener.
'Wound Of The Warden' feels like Zola Jesus meets Evoken or Diamanda Galas meets Agalloch, obviously accompagnied with those playful but dark violins. On other occasions this music feels like the metal version of Dresden Dolls or like PJ Harvey crawled out of an intensely dark and haunting experience. The level of dissonance is quite high, often gaining the capacity of harsh black metal or even noise, but there's always this strange sense of melody to grasp on while you're being dragged into the occult whirlpool of sounds. There is always this brilliant occult feel of musical witchcraft.
My favorite track is 'Black Majesty', which begins as a gently sung medieval folk song and evolves into a torpid but immersive piece of doom. The overall feel of this is song is so intensely gloomy that it immediately chills the room. That is pretty damn impressive by the way, since we're currently facing a heatwave. It's bleeding hot in this room but at this very moment, cold chills are running down my spine. Those continue throughout the rest of the album, an album that I absolutely recommend to any doom fan, whether it's folk doom, sludge doom, funeral doom, gothic doom or blackened doom. This is a masterpiece...