Evadne have been around since 2000, though they spent their first three years using the name Hexenprozesse. A Mother Named Death is their third full-length album, with which they aim to show that Valencia is not lagging behind in the world of death metal influenced doom metal. They do so in a largely straight-forward fashion, though there are a few twists and turns.
The first track lays down the ground work: throughout “Abode of Distress”, the band showcases the various musical strains they’ve put together with aptitude and clarity. The foundation is melodic funeral doom/slow death metal with growling vocals and a constant battery of additional, symphonic instruments. In addition there is a strong scent of more Gothic doom going on here, and as quite often recently this representative of the Archaic Triad staff feels compelled to mention early Theater of Tragedy, whose spirit rests over at least large swathes of the mournful musicianship. In addition to these basics, the use of different vocal styles and a wide variety of scales and melodies means that the song sometimes sound like Candlemass, and sometimes like melodic black metal at its slowest. It’s all very appealing, and feels somehow British. Which, of course, is a compliment when we’re talking doom/death.
The above description of one track holds some water for the duration of the album, though A Mother Named Death never stagnates to repeating some exact formula over and over again for each track. “Scars that Bleed Again” is more intense, even aggressive, when compared to the opener. In fact, there a similarities in tone and even sound to some of the slower passages from Cradle of Filth’s debut album Principle of Evil Made Flesh, even if the vocal style and overall arrangements differ quite a bit. This strange comparison actually fits in a few more places as well, though it probably only works if you disregard the later development of CoF into a shock rock band.
“Heirs of Sorrow” is perhaps even more catchy, even if it also slows down to heavier doom passages for much of its duration. In “88,6”, we get a carefully plotted experimental/atmospheric piece built on piano and choral voices. In this reviewer’s opinion, the band is at their best when they focus on crushing but melodic, slow doom – tracks like closer “The Mourn of the Oceans” and nine minute epic “Colossal” are absolutely fantastic. Even so, the variation in style does much to keep the album interesting, and there is no song here that should have been left out.
A Mother Named Death is pretty darn amazing, and its alchemical mixture of darkness, beauty, anger and virtuosity could be used as a template for how melodic death/funeral doom should sound. It is available from label Solitude Productions and from the band’s Bandcamp page.