There is much to be said about a quality rainy day tune (or record); my personal favorite is “Windowpane” off of Opeth‘s Damnation as it is melancholy in its finest form. As much as you or I want to at times, you can’t listen to the same thing incessantly as it’ll lose that special spark about it, meaning I only revisit “Windowpane” when I want an utterly dramatic rainy day. While I intentionally create distance from that particular track to make the eventual reunion all the more meaningful, I find myself gravitating towards the moodier flavors of metal when I want that emotional doom & gloom, that being doom metal as the name would suggest. What we have for you today falls under that sullen musical umbrella, so behold The Bleak Picture and their new track, “Lights of July”.

For a doom metal band name, The Bleak Picture really hits the nail on the head as the music (and that of the genre as a whole) elicits bleak imagery indeed. The Finnish duo that make up this group are the same individuals behind Autumnfall (they even have an album called Bleak go figure), with The Bleak Picture being a musical offshoot as there are few black metal elements, if any, to be found here. What started off as a single demo for this side project back in 2022 has lead to a full-fledged release titled Meaningless, which is set to be released on March 22 with Ardua Music.

Unlike Autumnfall, The Bleak Picture shows this duo embracing more of a laid back, meditative musical style with broodier atmospheres as chunkier instrumentation as opposed to relentless black metal blast beats (which serves a very different purpose for that matter). From a compositional perspective, “Lights of July” and what I assume would apply to the rest of the record, is what you would expect from an experienced doom metal band, ala early Katatonia, Swallow the Sun, and Paradise Lost for starters. While doom metal can be an easy miss with songs that musically over-meander to their detriment, The Bleak Picture is incredibly direct and doesn’t lollygag whatsoever.

The slower segments of the song are so dreamy and sonically lavish, with reverb-drenched guitars and that subtle synth that swirls in how it pans from left to right. With clean vocals that remind me heavily of Woods of Ypres, I can’t help but get sucked into the rainy day vibes that The Bleak Picture create. Once the chorus gets in, we get that melodeath beefiness with thick riffs that mirror the earlier clean guitars and monstrous vocals layered over the morose clean vocals; a masterful marriage between light and dark, beauty and anguish.

Vocalist Tero Ruohonen said the following about the new track:

‘”Lights of July” is one of my personal favorites on the album. It turned out much better than I expected and with the addition of Olli’s clean vocals it shines bright with its gloom. The human mind is a dark and fragile place; that’s all I say about the lyrics.’

If you’re looking for your next rainy day fix, look no further as The Bleak Picture should tickle your fancy as it did mine. Be sure to swing by the bands socials (Facebook | InstagramBandcamp) to stay in the loop as the release of Meaningless approaches.

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