Finally, the weekend is upon us. What better way to kick it off than with the latest installment of "Funeral Doom Friday". For those who are new to this column; each week features a new or classic album from the realm of extreme doom. Much of funeral/death doom's might comes from an oppressive emotional weight and the use of death or black metal motifs (played at a trudging pace, of course.) Pioneers like Mournful Congregation, Evoken, and Esoteric have mastered this blend of dirge and destruction. For 25 years, they have methodically built compositions that stretch for dozens of minutes all while keeping fans enthralled. Time has elapsed since the days of Thergothon and much like the world around us, the genre has evolved. Today's modern bands contort the very construct of the genre, breeding darkly refreshing new work. Their work thankfully gives this column plenty of material to share.
The international effort of Aeonian Sorrow, at long last, makes its debut today. The group, whose members reign from Greece and Finland, began back in 2015. Singer/songwriter, Gogo Melone, founded the band and, in its current iteration, now has five total members. Together, this quintet construct a monolithic display of gothic and melodic doom. This array is ever apparent in their first full-length album, entitled Into the Eternity A Moment We Are.
What stands out most across the album's eight tracks is the vocal interplay between Melone and fellow vocalist Alejandro Lotero. The former's angelic, almost operatic, voice creates a striking dichotomy with the latter's thunderous bellow. It certainly is reminiscent of the early Peaceville-era death doom. A personal favorite of this example is in the album's second track "Shadows Mourn." The pair employ rounds to harmonize the same lyrical prose over the final minutes. Elsewhere, "Thanatos Kyrie" showcases some of the more funereal moments of the record. An almost acapella performance by Lotero—only accentuated by the occasional crash cymbal or drum hit—signals an everlasting grief that Aeonian Sorrow strives to achieve.
Melone spoke to their long-awaited album stating, “This isn’t another doom metal record and definitely we cannot be categorized as a female fronted band; at least I'm not going to accept the title. This album is about the eternal suffering of a man or people who live in a world where everything and everyone they knew have gone, either by death or general parting, but somehow cannot be forgotten. Some individuals are probably going to find themselves in and others might end up having very typical and general feelings like 'this story is already known.' It is known but messy and chaotic enough with its lyrics to not give an end because that’s the way someone feels when he has buried himself into sorrow and won't let it go."
"I don’t remember well the days I was writing the music and the words for this album but I can definitely say that my entire mood was completely devastating and for very strong reasons," She continued. "It is part of the human nature to look for hope into the sky through spiritualism and I happen to be one of them when I have bad days. But I must warn the listeners. This isn’t an album of hope but totally the opposite. Like Aeonian Sorrow's music, in general, is all about.”
Of course, grief and devastation surface throughout the record. It was the main motivation behind this project. It emanates from Melone's voice, lyrics, and keyboard. Grief pours from Taneli Jämsä's guitars; devastation erupts from Pyry Hanski and Saku Moilanen's low-end combination. Palpable sadness is a huge draw to this kind of music. The listener feels visceral emotion if it is done properly. Thankfully all of the early signs point to Aeonian Sorrow's mastery of this notion. It will be exciting to see where this band goes in the future.