"The Emptiness Within"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Thinking man's death metal is not yet dead, not if De Profundis has anything to do with it.  This band operates in stubborn opposition to trends which demand underground metal must be painfully stupid and primitive or on the other hand, technical to the point of being obnoxious. They fall into neither of those prevalent categories. Instead, think of this band as a brother to Opeth that has retained its darkness and Opeth was before Mikael Akerfeldt finally went completely prog-folk.

There are a lot of facets to this band. The songs are long and involved and usually cross several boundaries. Some other bands that come to mind in listening to this are mid-period Death, My Dying Bride and Tiamat. Grimness and heaviness are never far from the mix, but the band also does interesting segues into more melodic and progressive realms. The track "Release" ends with a pretty amazing jazz fusion break and starts in a relaxed yet driving fashion. It's the smoothest and most intriguing song here by far. I'd also recommend "Dead Inside" as a true epic of progressive death metal...very stirring stuff.

There are a few nagging problems. The clean vocals do not impress and this is a part of the De Profundis repertoire that should either be assigned to someone else or forgotten completely. Also, on the last two tracks, "Parallel Existence" and "Unbroken"(A Morbid Embrace), some weariness with the long winded songs begins to kick in and one might wish for something a bit more concise.

On the whole, though, I salute this band for keeping a neglected style of metal rolling. Fans of old Opeth who have become bored with that band's fleecy wanderings are highly encouraged to check out "The Emptiness Within" by De Profundis.