|©1999 AvantGarde Music
1. Desolated Colours
2. My Weary Eyes
3. A Part Of Darkness
4. When All Laughter Has Gone
7. With Scorn/Perish
Dolorian are Finland's answer to Katatonia, playing a style of doomy black/death metal with ambient tendencies. This is certainly an interesting combination of influences, but Dolorian needs some more experience in order to bring this sound to fruitition.
Like their mentors, Dolorian use looping rhythms, but to a much lesser effect. When Katatonia does it, the effect is hypnotic, drawing the listener deeper in to the music. When Dolorian does it, it just comes off as boring repetition. Adding to the boredom is the band's problem of dragging out their songs ad nauseum; most of the songs could benefit from shaving off two to three minutes. The worst offender is closer "With Scorn/Perish," which features an endlessly repeating outro that lasts over five minutes! Maybe Dolorian didn't have enough material for a full length album, and that is why everything is stretched to the breaking point. Personally, I'd rather listen to a good EP than an overlong LP.
I haven't given up on Dolorian though. "A Part of Darkness" shows great promise, with a spectacular keyboard intro incorporating a folk and medieval feel. "Collapsed" is a gem amid the rough of the rest of the album, with a haunting keyboard melody reminiscent of The Exorcist and loud shrieking demon vocals. If this is the sound they are going for, I hope they nail it next time.
Overall, When All Laughter Has Gone would be good as a soundtrack or as background music, but there is just not enough going on for it to stand up to more than an idle listen. It's not bad, especially for a debut, but there a lot of bugs to be worked out. Doom fans may get a kick out of it, but for me it is generally too repetitive and ponderous.
Review by Scott Wilcox
Review date: 06/1999