On this incredible first album, KING WOMAN pulls the listener into a hypnotic and intense journey. Calm, fragile moments bewitch the audience in one moment, just to embrace him with massive walls of drone in the other. Crushing drums meet the sweet vocals by Kristina Esfandiari, harsh doomy riffs get combined with more playful elements of shoegaze and post-rock. Many influences build “Created In The Image Of Suffering”, making it a versatile and exciting album.
Frankly, I cannot understand the usage of the “digital bonus track” “Citos” that kicks of the album. It does not add anything to the overall image of “Created In The Image Of Suffering” and the beginning of the first regular track “Utopia” is a way better introduction into the doom-driven sound of KING WOMAN. From this very first moment nightmarish yet hypnotic amtosphere catches the listener and shows him the baneful beauty of this album. Track by track this intense vibe continues and forms a very special feeling. As said, hypnotic, dreaming, melancholic, sad – but still powerful and massive.
Most impact on this impressive atmosphere has the artistic singing by Kristina Esfandiari. In many situations her vocals are doubled which adds some special flavour to the overall sound. It makes those beautiful harmonies even more hypnotic and ritualistic. In rare moments on “Hierophant” she gets some male backup support, that adds another element to the interesting and versatile sound. Same for the chello at the end of “Manna” which is a surprising turn within the song.
Although the foundation of “Created In The Image Of Suffering” is reduced and minimalistic doom-rock, KING WOMAN manage to interweave exciting details that makes this debut an outstanding and intense piece of heavy and atmospheric music. Just a great and innovative interpretation of baneful yet beautiful music.