Dathomirror Doors creates a soundtrack for nightmares on the pitch-black beauty of “Dathomirror Doors I”. Uneasy alliances are forged between the natural and unnatural. A truly surreal whirlwind of styles they ensure that nothing remains fixed. Firmly rooted within an industrial aesthetic, they draw from elements of drone, folk, coldwave, shoegaze, and noise merging all of it into an approach that feels uniquely theirs. Lyrics further emphasize this discomfort for they are delivered with a particular poignancy. Multiple layers filter into the mix giving the whole of the album a swirling hue of colors that intermingle. The melodies that emerge from all this work have an eerie disposition. Quite rich texturally they come up with tones that are completely and refreshingly intimate.
Regal with its stately gothic/industrial charms, their references abound throughout the whole of the album. For their best moments they touch upon Garlands-era Cocteau Twins in terms of their steeped bleak grandeur. Heavy synthesizers and dollops of noise recall early Nine Inch Nails, for the way they set the mood feels palpable. Never overdoing anything they keep the stark nature of the approach intact. Even within their busier compositions they keep focused on the directness of the sound. Virtually physical the whole of the album deserves to be played loud to gain true appreciation for their adherence to an elegant minimalism.
The ambient open of “Dathomirror I” sets the tone for what follows: a highly cryptic piece that goes for a cinematic scope. “Cry in the Garden” introduces the vocals. A tortured frenzy emerges with various scattered percussive elements adding to the churning cyclical rhythm. Quite spacious with a sense of paranoia is the anxiety-inducing “Afraid to Trip” where they make use of every element for maximum impact. Extended drones mixed with guitar give “The Burden of Hate” a hypnotic sort of trance-like ethos. By far the highlight of the album comes from the highly accomplished “Dogs of Machine”. Folk and woozy electronics intermingle in a grandiose, kaleidoscopic fashion. At times nearly psychedelic a nervous energy runs through it. Heavy bass rumbles define the intense “Let You In”.
Beats hit hard on the harsh electro vibes of “Come, Closer” which at times feel reminiscent of the forthright sound of Joy Division. Probing lyrics sit in the very center of “Grief and Deceit”. Akin to a wild weird journey, “Wicked Wizards” sprawls out into the seemingly infinite. Melodically rich “Take My Soul” has a nostalgia-soaked disposition. Vocals sing from a vast unknowable space on the colossal “Things Change”. Offering a bit of light into the proceedings “The Aftermost” ends things on a reflective note.
A weird, woozy, and uncertain edge defines Dathomirror Doors’ distinctly darkened hallows of “Dathomirror Doors I”.