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Album Review: Desideratum by Planning For Burial

Planning For Burial released their second album Desideratum earlier in the week, it’s a beautifully epic and expansive album. It encapsulates contrasting moods of a dark doom ridden drone and a laid back dream pop melody.

Think a vocal-less Deafhaven mixed with a minimalist Beach House and you wouldn’t be wide of the mark. It’s a sound which comes across as fresh and complex. Who is/are Planning For Burial? Basically it’s a bedroom project, where the album was toiled over for a couple of years before  the band is assembled and they sporadically popped up to play live.

Opener ‘Where You Rest Your Head At Night’ has all the heavy doom riffs you could possibly need, at times the guitars are intricate before the churning riffs take over again. Clocking in at over 8 minutes it takes in the expansiveness of post rock, taking some My Bloody Valentine-esque shoegaze all whilst coming out like a doom rock behemoth of a track. Unsurprisingly, it turns out to be an astonishing opening.

The mood changes considerably with title track ‘Desideratum’. Now you wouldn’t consider this an upbeat track by any stretch of the imagination, it takes on more dream pop sensibilities albeit in a minimalist form. It is light and airy sounding in comparison to the opener, gone are crushing riffs replaced by delicate guitars and electronics. Thoroughly depressing all the same. With ’29 August 2012’ the riffs are back, again the track takes the same form as the album opener. Vast and sprawling over 6 minutes the track is so broodingly depressing you’d imagine it sitting perfectly in an emotional death scene in a film.

‘Purple’ never really seems to go anywhere, seemingly more of an extending interlude rather than a fully formed song.  Desideratum has its finest moment in closing track ‘Golden’. Considering its length is just shy of half the album, it encapsulates all the moods of the album while adding some delicate vocals. The riffs that come into play around the 7 and a half minute mark are crushing and dark.

Desideratum certainly won’t be to everyone’s tastes, at times you get the feeling that it’s just a little too much, a little refining and cutting back at times would do no harm. When Planning For Burial get it right though, boy do they hit the nail precisely on the head. The riffs are a pure pleasure.

AD Rating 6.5/10

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  1. Album Review: Below the House by Planning For Burial – Alt Dialogue

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