Funeralium
Funeralium

From ever improving Israeli label Totalrust comes this rather impressive slab of sick French black doom from an act that features members of Heol Telwen, Ataraxie, Hyadningar, Mourning Dawn as well as suicidal German legends Bethlehem.

This is 6 tracks and over 75 minutes of scrawling, twisted, painfully crawling doom with a tangible influence of Forgotten Tomb as well the depressive one band black metal projects such as Shining, Leviathan and such. It’s stark, lethargic and laboriously slow but also has a sort of psychotic undulating undercurrent, and that’s where the one man USBM reference comes to play as well as the more blackish shrieks and whispers that permeate the musical despondency.

Admittedly, it’s not until about halfway through the 18 minute title track that the album gets a hold of me, as the first two tracks are more simply Thergothon/Skeptisism styled ultra droning doom with blackened shrieks. However, at around the 10:30 mark of the track the increased use if minimalist acoustics and bleak atmospheres becomes far more predominant and disturbing as vocalist Marquis (Bethlehem) descends into a tortured abyss of wails and shrieks backed by foreboding, haunting acoustics before a slight rumble ends the songs. The transcendental despair continues for the 20 minute “Let People Die” a patience testing yet draining journey of utterly minimalist single beat percussion and drawn out, dilapidated Shining –esque acoustics and droning along with yet more pain filled shrieks from Marquis. As atonal and minimalist as it is, it’s incredibly effective in conveying a barren musical paralysis and sense of utter despair. The same can be said for “Light Crisis”, which mixes more traditional guitar based and earthy doom loping (a sort of Autopsy on barbiturates crawl) amid a haunting bass lines and rasps.. Surprisingly short but dismal closer “Nearly the End”, returns to the acoustic dregs and wail of “Let People Die” but is a truly despondent, suicidal 5 minutes of angst and simple yet haunting strumming.

Totalrust seems to be growing as a niche roster, and Funeralium is their best release yet and provided they all don’t kill themselves or get institutionalized, should be a force in depressive blackened doom for a albums to come.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
October 25th, 2007

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