Rarely is the harmonica used for its intended bluesy purpose in metal music like it is in Black Trillium’s The Fatal Shore, and I think once I heard it, the whole release made sense to me. Sure, it’s easy to fall on the definition of ‘doom’ metal for a release like this, but when you peel back a few layers, you can hear the sorrowful mourn that is unmistakably blues. The decay of life; the modern lament for everything that has gone wrong; the sorrowful yearning for a satisfying end to our miserable days on this planet. Once this truth is uncovered, you can let go of the particulars of the release and just focus on the emotions that they are trying to convey.
The Fatal Shore is a release that certainly isn’t for the faint of heart. The droning guitar and deathly voice feel drunk with fatigue. The clean vocals have an almost reverent feel to them and the overall polish is like a car from the 70s whose duco has begun to fade. At this late stage, it is hard to know if production choices like this are deliberate, or systematic of backyard recordings, so we’ll stay on the safe side and say they were at least considered.
Break out your inner Eeyore and have a good listen to this, and walk down that familiar hall of depression. Suitable for those who can’t get up in the morning.
Release Year: 2020
Reviewed by Liam Frost-Camilleri