Deathwhite smear hopelessness, pain over melodic doom anguish on sorrowful ‘Grey Everlasting’

Photo by Shane Mayer

Surely plenty of people are tired of talking about how humanity has been impacted the past two years, and that’s not just including a pandemic that still lives. You can tell that by people’s lack of willingness to help out other people or to even acknowledge a health crisis even existed. That bled into politics, of course, as well as our societal relations, and we remain in a state of disrepair and stupidity.

Pittsburgh doom metal vets Deathwhite did have their eyes and minds open over this tumultuous period, and that bleeds into their powerful third record “Grey Everlasting,” a title that pretty much tells you all you need to know. This anonymous band—there are four shrouded figures in their promo photo—unload their desolate, yet melodic energy into these 11 tracks and 48 minutes, enshrouding you in a shocking reality that appears to have no mercy for us. Yet there also is a survival mode threaded into these songs, fronts that allow us to build up a strong callous as we continually face the most depressing and destructive period of most of our lives.

“Nihil” gets things started, a quick synth-driven intro that spreads elegance and sorrow, rolling into “Earthtomb” that actually throws some unexpected punches to your skull. Aggressive mists spread and bring strong singing and more keys that increase the pressure, the chorus rushing back and closing out on the track. “No Thought or Memory” brings lush singing and a chugging pace, pulling the levers and bringing the storm clouds. “No thought or memory, you cease to be,” is called out, elevating the pain, and then the fire spreads. Blood rushes, the chorus envelopes again, and the track drains out into gothy terrain. “Quietly, Suddenly” takes some time to establish an ambiance, and the dreariness grows larger, creating a shadow in the room, and even when the power strikes, you can’t avoid the cold emotion. “Death, so suddenly,” is belted, leaving the song in a puddle. The title track slowly dawns with vulnerable singing and the music chiming, your anxiety growing by the second. There’s a slight ’80s Euro pop feel to some of the track, adding a different texture, and then the crawling grimness finally lets you be. “White Sleep” is punishing right away, stomping through mud, giving off deathrock vibes that add to the murkiness. “I hear nothing, I am no one,” does nothing to quell the hurt as the balmy weather buries hearts in the soil.

“Immemorial” is introduced by drums pacing and the bass plodding, the guitars burning pathways in the sky. The vocals bellow as acoustics rain, hisses push, and the playing keeps unloading until you can take no more. “Formless” has guitars erupting and the moody pace growing more oppressive as it goes. The hopelessness smears salty tears in your mouth, and the admission of, “And no one sees the sun,” leaves everything in abject darkness. “So We Forget” takes its time establishing itself, the drums pushing, and the sad wails of, “To never see again, to never feel again,” making a heavy impact on your psyche. The playing begins to hit harder and faster plowing through and ending in dank dampness. “Blood and Ruin” melts into the room, the haze getting thicker and harder to navigate. The playing wrenches as the heaviness increases, making breathing harder and less interesting. “Asunder” ends the album with finger-tapped playing soaring as the solemn singing delivers the sentiment, “Desolation, holding on forever.” If you were hoping things would get brighter from here, you’d be a fool as bleakness folds in on you, the sentiments burns, ending on the call of, “Liberation is only a breath away.”

Deathwhite’s stranglehold on melodic doom darkness and their willingness to expose all of their wounds hits a high point on “Grey Everlasting.” This is a 48-minute session of staring your emotional demons in the face, and part of that battle is accepting your vulnerability and lack of control of that so you can find other ways to thrive. This is music that could break someone, and hearing it play out in such infectious fashion is intimidating.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/deathwhiteofficial/

To buy the album (North America), go here: https://shopusa.season-of-mist.com/

Or here (International): https://shop.season-of-mist.com/

For more on the label, go here: https://www.season-of-mist.com/