Futility
The View From Here

Back in 2009 we reviewed the self titled, self released debut from this Australian doom outfit, and by most accounts it was a solid effort of European styled doom/death metal  culling from the British and Finnish school of the genre, recalling the likes of My Dying Bride, Anathema, Shape of Despair and such. I recall being slightly more enamored with it than the above review, so when The View From Here showed up 2 years later I was surprised, and after a few listens, impressed.

As expected, the style is intact; mopey emotional European styled doom with uplifting titles like “Drowning”, “Nothing” and “And Still I Hate”, played with plodding, heavy guitars, deep growls and a somber layer added to the riffs. The lengthy tracks (7-14 minutes) sprawl with melancholic heft which can test less patient listeners (the two 14+ minute songs are a bit over drawn) but occasional spurts of more uptempo rumbling do add some urgency to the songs. Each of the songs certainly have memorable moments such as the emotive riff to start “Another Black Day”  and its stern rumble later on or the excellent dichotomy between the delicate strains and fierce lumber in the first 10 minutes of “And Still I Hate”, then there is “Nothing”, which gives me a bit of a Mindrot vibe, with a tangible sense of despair. “Misrecollections” also leaves somewhat of an impact with a very nice initial My Dying Bride styled riff and pace, but the track derails a bit when it tries to pick up the pace a couple if times.

As with the debut, which had a cover of Katatonia‘s “Murder”, The View From Here features a cover also, but it’s a more left field venture as the band decided to do a doom/death take on Pink Floyd‘s classic “Comfortably Numb”, an ambitious venture that works well, even with the growled/screamed vocals. Though its placement is a bit odd, coming as the penultimate track before slightly underwhelming 14 minute closer “Mantra”, so it gets a bit buried if you aren’t paying attention, not a big deal, I just prefer my covers tacked on the end or separate from the original material.

Futility isn’t quite as good as Mournful Congregation, but they do give the land down under another very respectable addition to the doom genre.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
July 27th, 2012

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