Doleful, distressing, mournful, despairing, sorrowful, gloomy, despondent, anguished, desperate. Name any sad feeling you can think of, and you will find its musical incarnation on this record. "Gracefallen" is one dark, wondrously depressing masterwork. Even after their previous masterful "Rapture" album, Unholy really outdid themselves this time. It was smart of them to add a full time female singer to the line-up. The contrast between Veera Muhli's sorrowful soprano and Pasi Aijo's growls is very arresting, as it is set to dense, heavy guitar riffs and dismal, at times reminiscent of a funeral organ, keyboards. The songs are long and slow, and they open up inviting you to take a plunge into their sea of sadness. Once you do, the moody atmosphere consumes you entirely. Doom, Goth-metal, whatever-they-call-it-this-week fans, this is your huge cup of tea. Instead of wasting your time and money on crap like Moonspell, terribly overrated Katatonia, that latest My Dying Bride album, or on whatever insipid act Nuclear Blast throws at you this week, get "Gracefallen" because it has three main things a Doom album should possess: a lot of sadness, a lot of heaviness and a lot of great songs.

1999 boris