Funeral Doom Friday: Celebrating 25 Years of Funeral Doom with THERGOTHON's Fhtagn-nagh Yog-Psothoth
It’s the weekend! What better way to get it started than with the latest installment of “Funeral Doom Friday”. This weekly column looks to shed some light onto some of the darkest, most depressing, and discordant metal out there. Funeral Doom stems from the deepest depths of Death-Doom and Dirge music. Each week, the goal is to highlight some of the newest music or rediscover classic works from some of the earliest bands and originators such as Australia’s Mournful Congregation, United States’s Evoken, UK’s Esoteric and the Finnish Thergothon. Feel free to share your opinions and suggestions in the comments!
This November is a special month for Funeral Doom. It was this month, 25 years ago, that the extreme doom subgenre was born in Kaarina, Finland. The mighty Thergothon released their second demo in 1991, entitled Fhtagn-nagh Yog-Psothoth. This followed up an incredibly limited and crudely recorded initial demo called Abysmal Dimensions that was released in May of that year. With the relatively larger release of their second demo, the earliest incarnation of Funeral Doom was unleashed.
This is where it all began. The very foundation from which Funeral Doom was built stems from the quartet's four-song demo. The band comprised of Niko Sirkiä (vocals), Jori Sjöroos (drums/vocals), Mikko Ruotsalainen (guitars), and Sami Kaveri (guitars). Together, the four melded Death Doom's crushing sound with the glacial paces of genres like drone and dirge. The first side of the demo featured tracks "Elemental" and "Evoken". The B-side contained "Yet the Watchers Guard" and "The Twilight Fade". The four songs totaled just over 25 minutes long, which is short for most Funeral Doom standards, but what it accomplished remains pivotal for bands that followed. Thergothon's combination of primordial monoliths of riffs and vocal exchanges of gritty bellows and pseudo-spoken word were a beast not heard before.
Fhtagn-nagh Yog-Psothoth would ultimately become a precursor to Thergothon's first and only full-length album, Stream From the Heavens. The tracks "Elemental" and "Yet the Watchers Guard" would appear on the album when it was released in 1994. Thergothon had unfortunately split up that previous year. It seemed an unfortunate fate for a band that was pivotal in creating such an emotionally-driven genre of extreme metal and that their music was released post-humously. Check out the demo below, and if you happen to find a physical copy of this tape. please let me know!