My impression of Mexican extreme metal has always been its evilness, with bands like Zombiefication managing to put together elements from genres taken from other regions into a sound that stands out with its crushing intensity and added touch of evil and darkness. While taking a slightly different path than the aforementioned, Question also manages to provide a refreshing take on a death metal sound that leans more towards the Finnish side of the spectrum with their debut full length album, Doomed Passages.
While that ritualistic cover artwork left me thinking of Question more of a psychedelic or doom band, they manage to surprise me with the material that is contained on Doomed Passages. Mournful Stench hit me without any warning at all, and in an instant the listener is thrown into a myriad of riffs that reminds one of classic Finnish death metal acts such as Convulse, Demilich and Adramelech, complete with the abrasive guitar tone of guitarist Roy and the deep growls of Marco. Roy’s chaotic lead guitar works and the at-times rather complex rhythmic patterns on the album, like on Nefarious Conclusion further reinforce this comparison with Demilich and Adramelech, creating that sense of unease that the listener already feels listening to the record.
Living up to the haunting and disturbing aesthetics that pioneers of the genre have created, Question has also included a number of surprises on the record. For instance, there is that rather psychedelic passage in the middle of the album, Through the Vacuous River, which, depending on the listener’s state of mind, can be a soothing interlude or 2 and a half minutes of disturbance with that omen lurking beneath that seemingly calm surface, the calm before the storm that is Universal Path of Disgrace. Bitter Gleam of Inexistence even puts the listener through 10-odd minutes of hell, and is easily the highlight of the record.
The entire Finnish death metal experience is completed with the cavernous backdrop that the band has managed to conjure throughout. For instance, there are moments when Marco’s vocals sound as though they were coming from afar. The darkness that Doomed Passages emanate at times even brings about some Grave Miasma or Dead Congregation comparisons, especially on tracks like Grey Sorrow, further pleasing fans of crushing and intense death metal.