Formed in 2015 by vocalist and guitarist Raven (formerly Ryanne) van Dorst, hailing from the Netherlands, DOOL have come a long way. With the latest and possibly strongest release yet, The Shape of Fluidity, the band cuts you to the core, opening their wounds and exploring themes of personal, physical, and psychological turmoil against the current state of the world. Produced by Magnus Lindberg (Cult of Luna, Russian Circles, Tribulation) and mastered by Ted Jensen (AC/DC, Muse, Ghost), The Shape of Fluidity mixes rock, doom, and post-metal. The album stings you from the first listen, making it one of the stronger records of 2024 thus far.

The album starts with “Venus in Flames,” featuring distorted guitars and mesmerizing vocals, setting a dark and raw tone. As the track progresses, it becomes heavier and more engaging, blending emotional soundscapes with catchy hooks. With its mix of doom and progressive elements, “Venus in Flames” establishes itself as a standout opener.

Introducing a new distorted sound reminiscent of Royal Thunder, “Self-Dissect” delivers another engaging track. The song transitions between heavy and slow, doomy and bluesy, with despair at the forefront. As the track evolves, it is punctuated by a captivating instrumental breakdown that would likely sound incredible live.

The title track exudes a sludgier, fluid movement, growing heavier with a relentless flood of energy. Embracing darkness and complexity, “Shape of Fluidity” entraps the listener from start to finish. While serving as an instrumental interlude, “Currents” maintains a piercing intensity that slices through the soul, bridging the album’s thematic elements.

Seamlessly transitioning from “Currents,” “Evil in You” channels old-school darkwave vibes, illustrating a haunting atmosphere. Slowing the tempo, “House of a Thousand Dreams” moves like an enigmatic darkened hymn, weaving a poetic narrative. Continuing the album’s exploration of heavy with emotive expressions, “Hermagorgon” delivers a harsh yet compelling execution.Chiming in with silence and mystery, “Hymn for a Memory Lost” gradually builds into a hypnotic trance. It showcases a variety of vocal techniques while consistently delivering solid melodies.

The album is closed with a doomy sound and a unique guitar riff in the final track, “The Hand of Creation.” It nods to the influences of the early 2000s while maintaining a modern transgression. The song encapsulates the album’s cohesive and well-composed nature; the overall arrangements alone urge one to listen to this record from beginning to end.

Rating: 4.5/5

DOOL’s Shape of Fluidity released on April 19th, 2024 via Prophecy Productions. Order here.