One-man bands allow for so much freedom, and for those who are blessed with creativity it can lead to prolific output in a shorter space of time than groups. One such solo project is Drift into Black, led by ex-Grey Skies Fallen keyboardist Craig Rossi. With his fourth release Patterns of Light, the New Yorker continues a trend of four releases in four years in synth-driven gloom, inspired by the European vein of melodic doom-death metal.
Patterns of Light is proof that, just because you have a formula to work with, does not mean you are confined to it. While many of the songs here draw from the same quarters as Saturnus, My Dying Bride and Ghost Brigade, they also shy away from copycatting the above-mentioned bands. There are many interesting discoveries to be found, whether the guitar melodies on “The Burial Gown”, the prog-metal synthesizers that recall Amorphis’ finest on “Among the Beast”, the post-punk beats on “Thread of Hope”, or the dual vocal effects alternating between soft cleans and underwater-recorded growls.
It’s not just the music that demands a look-in, though – Rossi has designed another concept album with a dark, dark storyline to follow. The plot tells of loss and grief, religion and revenge; there’s even a twist to a surprisingly happy ending for such melancholic music. No spoilers, though – you have to listen to find out what happens next
If the darker side of metal appeals, and you enjoy being wrapped up in a shroud of gloom, then Patterns of Light will absolutely be of interest. Drift into Black have matured well over the last several years, and 2021 will certainly be Rossi’s year with this quality of output.
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