Kadotettu – Ihmisyyden viimeiset askeleet

Too much black metal honestly. When working as this blackened, surreal and somber funeral doom (though, more just very slow and depressive black metal) record, the artists intentions of creating a look into suicide and evil is realized in a fantastic way. I love the piano, I love the relaxed and cold guitars, and I feel like I’m getting a unique experience. There’s just too many blast beats. I feel like the middle two tracks are just sort of there, more as filler than anything else, and when it gets aggressive, it loses all of what makes the music so enjoyable. The vocals are also a bit subpar, trying just a tiny bit too hard to be harsh I think. The album is a bit uneventful, but when it works, it works well, and I can truly say it’s the only one of it’s kind I’ve listened to this year.


7/10

https://kadotettu.bandcamp.com/

Ēōs – Third Demo

Absolutely fantastic demo. The main theme is present, but there’s enough slow evolution to keep your interest, which is really difficult to do in funeral doom. I especially love that opening synth, and really wish they would’ve done a bit more with that, other than play it in the background. It’s this cool moog like synth that sounds like it came right out of a black church service. Obviously it’s hard to comment on something that’s just a demo, but I’m extremely excited to see this band’s first album, moreso than I’ve been for any other band I think. It’s rare to have quality funeral doom outside of major bands, so it’s so inspiring to see it from such an obscure band, especially one that makes a demo that’s this ridiculously well produced.


8.5/10

https://eosdoom.bandcamp.com/

Grimirg – Night Be My Grave

Creates a really nice calming and depressive atmosphere, and I REALLY love the female vocals. However even for funeral doom standards, and even despite it’s incredibly short length, the album feels uneventful. Even music that’s supposed to be as slow and patience testing as possible needs some kind of variety in it, and I feel like Grimirg just gives you a much more standard experience that’s’ wrapped up in a somewhat unique atmosphere. I think one more track that explores some textures a bit would’ve upped this into the 7 category, but as is, I’ll rate this as enjoyable, but quite disappointing.


6.75/10

https://grimirg.bandcamp.com/album/night-be-my-grave

Inverloch – Distance | Collapse

If anything, I’ve now found the record I will always lead people to the next time (read; the first time) someone asks me “hey I want to get into death doom / funeral doom, where should I start?”. Inverloch’s debut album takes their experience from diSEMBOWELMENT and uses it to create a much cleaner, listener friendly experience. In a way, this is a massive disappointment. Personally speaking, funeral doom and death doom are genres that, at least speaking for myself, their fans enjoy because of it’s oddball nature. I don’t have a massive amount of experience with death doom outside a few classics, but I do know from what I’ve listened to that it has a certain bit of oddness in often being guttural and monster like, but in a much more subtle and calm way that fans of traditional death metal might not always appreciate. Funeral doom, of which I have lots of experience, takes this even further. Aside from the obvious aspect of slowling doom metal to a crawl, you have bands like Thergothon, early Esoteric, early Funeral, Fungoid Stream, Sketicism’s Stormcrowfleet, fucking Mordor, and other artists who push the boundaries of what could be considered sane music, even by metal standards. Even Ahab’s Call of the Wretched Sea, which is considered to be THE starting point for an aspiring funeral doom fan, is a pretty weird album to someone who isn’t familiar with the genre. The almost whispered vocals and unapologetically low budget synths would be strange to anyone who didn’t really know what to expect out of funeral doom. In a way, I feel like in order to be a great funeral or death doom record, you need a bit of weirdness to give your record personality.

There is no weirdness to be found on Distance | Collapse. It seems like this record was tailor made to be funeral/death doom for people who had never heard either of those genres before. On all levels, this is a textbook example of every genre this album includes (funeral doom, death doom, death metal). Fuck, they even separate which genres they use at which times. Sometimes they’ll be death doom, then transition over to pure death metal, then transition over to pure funeral doom, etc. It’s like that one Benjamin Britten piece A Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, where they separate all the instruments from each other to give the beginning as sampler of what each instrument sounds like. That’s basically what this album is, a sampler of all 3 genre’s involved. It’s even less than 40 minutes to boot, because you know, who has time to actually get into a genre, let alone 3?

Now I want to make this clear, what I’ve been saying is not necessarily a criticism of the album as much as it is a comment on how it works in my mind. Even as by the book death doom, this is about as good as you can get by only following the guide in the imaginary book of metal genres. It’s like cooking a recipe exactly by the book (god, why the fuck do I use food in my metaphors so much, I only eat like 2 meals a day, what the fuck?). It’s going to be fine doing it that way, but it’ll lack personal touch, and often that’s what separates a good meal from a fantastic meal. Distance | Collapse sounds like a very impersonal album, as if these death doom veterans were going through the motions, rather than trying to create a unique masterpiece such as Transcendence Into the Peripheral. It’s still a good piece of music that I absolutely enjoyed listening to, but it’s clear that some (maybe a lot) of creative spark is simply gone.


7/10

Goatpsalm – Downstream

This is THE album to prove that Rateyourmusic ratings are complete bullshit. This has some of the most unique atmosphere I’ve heard in an album this year. How often do you hear siberian mouth harps with funeral doom metal, combined with nature recordings and tribal drums? And it’s not just unique, it’s done well. It feels like an ode to the mystical natural world, and it feels that way in a completely organic manner. Sure there are some moments where the synths are a bit misplaced, or the vocals sound a bit too bizzare, but otherwise this is a spectacular work whose premise I have never experienced before, and boy am I glad I gave this a chance. There’s no joke here, just fucking listen to this you dweeb.


8.5/10

Ill Omen – Æ.Thy.Rift

Insanely atmospheric and murky blackened funeral doom. It’s like you here the intro to the album, and you’re like “yeah this is gonna be really awesome”, and then you realize the intro IS the album, but that’s actually not a bad thing for once. You could argue either way if this is primarily black metal or funeral doom metal, and it would push the boundaries of both. Really unique and great stuff, just wish it had just a bit more of those juicy dark ambient synths instead of guitars.


7.75/10

Electric Lizard’s Shortstacks – 2/29/2016

Preface: So I’ve been thinking of ways to combat my eventually exhaustion from reviewing, and I’ve come to the conclusion that the biggest reason this happens is because I tend to feel like I have to write a master piece for every review. That includes when I simply don’t have much to say about an album. I’ll get “stuck” on an album that I feel like I should have a lot to say about, but I don’t. Simply put, I really don’t want to take an entire post for a review that’s not even 200 words long. So my solution is every day I’m going to take the albums that I don’t have much to say about, and put them in one post. That way I can get through a lot more albums much quicker, and without the pressure of having to write 700+ words. So without further adieu, here is the first ever edition of Electric Lizard’s Shortstacks.


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Eissturm – The Oak

Really solid work. I love the intermixing of the acoustic guitar sections with the straight atmo black parts. It gives it so much more of a melancholy feel. It doesn’t feel repetitive and monotonous, more just relaxing and reflective. It even has some really soothing flutes on the first track Falling Snow, which I felt was a really unique addition to the music that I don’t here in black metal much. You would think with the whole winter theme that flutes would run rampant (sounding just like a cold winter wind), but alas. The production is also in that sweet spot of clean enough to not sound like shit, and fuzzy enough to make you feel warm inside. Granted, it still ultimately sounds like an amateur work, but it’s a solid amateur work that’s worth listening to. I was expecting this to be total shit, so I’m pleasantly surprised. Good stuff.

7/10


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Agoraphobic Nosebleed – Arc

Really not a fan. The guitar work and riffs are just mediocre, if inoffensive. But the vocals are a squeaky, annoying piece of shit. It basically sounds exactly what a grindcore band transitioning to sludge metal for some reason would sound like: they don’t know what they’re doing, and traces of their previous genre are still laden throughout the work, to ill effect. It’s not awful, but I certainly won’t be playing this again anytime soon. A major disappointment.

5.25/10


 

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Bosque – Beyond

Wow what a disappointment. I was really hoping the second funeral doom album I’d listen to this year would be a real hit. Unfortunately, this isn’t so much funeral doom metal as much as it is regular doom metal extended over 13 minute tracks. The album is really monotonous and boring without any of the charm or atmosphere of traditional funeral doom. Bosque decided to ditch the synths, ditch the death growls, and everything that gives funeral doom it’s quirky charm, instead deciding to just play slower standard doom track 3 times in a row, for 40 minutes straight. Beyond is beyond boring, don’t bother with this snoozefest.

3.75/10