Counting Hours – The Wishing Tomb

Label: Ardua Music   Release date: February 23rd, 2024

With “The Wishing Tomb”, Finnish dark/doom metal pioneers Counting Hours finally release the long-awaited follow-up to “The Will” to the public and even improve the high quality level of their previous output. The new album begins with the instrumental “Unsung, Forlorn”, which is extremely dreamy and very atmospheric, literally preparing the listener for what is to come over the next 50 minutes…

This is followed by “Timeless Ones”, an extremely melodic song with real depth: a melancholic and captivating guise full of beauty and magic wraps itself around the compositions of Counting Hours and accompanies the listener on their journey of despair, sadness and hope. The Finns’ almost unique songwriting gives the songs on “The Wishing Tomb” a high recognition value and you find yourself in alternately cosy and oppressive emotional worlds. Counting Hours hit the nerve of this beautiful form of suffering and you feel inclined not to break out of this circle and just enjoy the music. “No Closure” is a song that illustrates this emotion in particular and it captivates you immediately. One musical highlight follows the next, peppered with beautiful guitar melodies from the pen of songwriter Jarno Salomaa.

The music of Counting Hours is so profound and beguilingly beautiful, the entire band delivers a truly convincing performance. Above all this the more than sublime vocals of exceptional singer Ilpo Paasela are towering, adding the final polish to the compositions and skilfully refining them. He switches brilliantly between gloomy spoken passages, growls and clean, melancholic vocals – so expressive that goose flesh is guaranteed in almost every song. His performance is, so to speak, the icing on the cake of “The Wishing Tomb”, which makes this album so unique!

Profound backing vocals add facets to the rich tapesty and it is difficult to pick particular songs, because even after listening several times, I can’t find any weak point. I have to say that every song really has its own individual note and those who love dark sounds will get their money’s worth here.

Even more than that !!! In the title track, the heavy, playful ending is particularly striking. Here it is the precise double bass of Sameli Köykkä and the midtempo BM-heavy guitars that are guaranteed to be idolised by black & doom fetishists. At times the album reminds me of Katatonia, which is a great compliment to Counting Hours and should not be misunderstood, the Finns definitely provide musical independence. Last but not least, the extremely well-done clean production should be mentioned here, which gives “The Wishing Tomb” exactly the status it actually deserves. Counting Hours will hopefully gain the success they deserve with this album! The still young year 2024 thus has its first musical highlight with the graceful finale “A Mercy Fall” and “The Well Of Faillures”. Who would have thought… that suffering can be so beautiful. I’ve listened to “The Wishing Tomb” over and over again and really can’t help but give this stroke of genius the well deserved top score!

1st Unsung, Forlorn
2 Timeless Ones
3 Away I Flow
4 All That Blooms (Needs To Die)
5 Starlit / Lifeless
6 The Wishing Tomb
7. No Closure
8 A Mercy Fall
9. This Well Of Failures


  • 10/10
    Bewertung / rating - 10/10

Hanzi Herrmann ---- festival / concert reviews, live photos, interviews