Oasis! This word surfaces first, amongst others that circulate inside my mind during the listening of this vast album. Does it matter that this is a debut album? Not at all. Does it matter whose behind the name , the music and the whole project? Yes, my friends, it does.

Here’s a doom metal masterpiece from two gentleman whose carrier has been quite important so far. The 11th Hour, is a new band-project of Ed Warby (Gorefest, Hail Of Bullets, Ayreon) and Rogga Johansson (Edge of Sanity, Demiurg, Paganizer, Ribspreader). Ed, on this record, wrote all the songs’ material, played every single instrument and handled half the vocal duties. Rogga contributed on the other half, in his guttural vocal style. This cooperation by itself is quite promising, so let’s have a look from the inside to find out what goes on The 11th Hour.

As I’ve already mentioned, the music is pure low-tempo detuned DOOM metal, combined with obscure and hunting melodies from keyboards and guitars. The production, is contributing to the final result, as much as it gets, giving a tight and extra heavy sound to the album. Ed and Rogga ’s vocal lines mourn throughout the songs, varying from clean to brutal guttering growls. The compositions breathe heavily, having influences that vary from the genre’s older master creators Candlemass, Paradise Lost to latest keepers of the genre such as Draconian, Funeral and Dolorian. Ed’s clean vocal lines also reminded me a bit of Arjen Lucassen’s vocal approach on Ayreon albums, although the style and the overall sound etc. has nothing to do with Ayreon at all.

The album’s lyrical theme has to do with the concept of a man diagnosed with a terminal lung disease, haunted by unspeakable nightmares forcing him to revisit the blackest days of his life. Facing his imminent demise, the dying man spends his last days on earth coming to grips with his troubled past and attempting to redeem himself. In any aspect, this heavy theme is presented beautifully with the mournful melodies and the dark heavy atmosphere of the songs.

Death, pain, sorrow, bereavement, questions about life and other discomforts in an a six-track observation of regret and self-redemption, form one of the most interesting metal releases of the year 2009 released almost at the heart of winter…

Will you follow them? I’m already at their ship to the other side!

Track List Line Up
01. One Last Smoke
02. In The Silent Grave
03. Origins Of Mourning
04. Weep For Me
05. Atonement
06. Longing For Oblivion
Ed Warby – Drums, Guitars, Bass, Vocals, Keyboards
Rogga Johansson – Vocals