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.
Boston's Fórn will finally be returning this year with new music. The band recently announced their newest full-length recording, Rites of Despair. It's been an up and down past two years for the band as they've dealt with lineup changes and relocation among other events. Still, Fórn is back and as dismal as ever. The first taste of Rites of Despair comes by way of the opening numbers, "涂地" and "Manifestations of the Divine Root."
A lot of what made Fórn so great initially returns—glacially-paced, soul-crushing doom—but, as "涂地" shows, the band taps into new ideas. Mainly, a collaboration with Lane Shi of Elizabeth Colour Wheel. For the uninitiated, ECW, creates a similar emotional tone to Fórn, but with harsh, noisy punk and other styles. Shi's contribution in the introduction is wonderfully striking. Her voice directly contrasts Chris Pinto's deep, thunderous growl. The way Fórn works this dichotomy is flawless, much like their knack for well-disciplined, sludge-ridden doom.
Check out the new tracks now. Pre-orders for Rites of Despair are available now at Gilead Media.