With their latest album 'Monotony Fields', SHAPE OF DESPAIR demonstrated that doom from Finland not only was far from getting stuck in a dead end, but was actually as beautiful, sorrowful, and majestic as it could ever get.
Their next release on Season of Mist rather represents a visit of the band's past. Under their former name Raven, the Finns recorded a demo in 1998 entitled 'Alone In The Mist', which was never officially published. The high quality of the material already hinted at by two tracks released elsewhere more than justifies the late unearthing of this dark treasure.
Well, SHAPE OF DESPAIR have always taken their sweet time. Nearly eleven years passed before the Finns presented 'Monotony Fields' as a follow-up to the acclaimed 'Illusion's Play' (2004). This hiatus was only briefly interrupted by the 'Written In My Scars' EP in 2010 and a split 7" with BEFORE THE RAIN the following year as a strong reminder of the band's effusive talent.
SHAPE OF DESPAIR were founded by Jarno Salomaa and Tomi Ullgren after the demise of their previous death metal band in 1995. The two guitarists were aiming for a darker and more serene sound. Their debut album 'Shades of...' (2000) proved an instant success, garnering much praise from critics and fans alike. The quickly following 'Angels of Distress' (2001) is still regarded as a milestone of doom metal. Having added the corrosive and grinding vocals of Henri Koivula, which contrast perfectly with the aerial female voice of Natalie Koskinen, SHAPE OF DESPAIR returned to reclaim the throne of funeral doom with 'Monotony Fields'. Now they take you back to the time of their origins.