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!
Canada's Longing For Dawn was mentioned in passing during last week's edition that discussed the newest album from the Russian The Extinct Dreams. The Montreal-based group is currently on hiatus and have been since the beginning of 2011. Within their time together as an active band, they put together three full-length albums that showcased a great knack for mixing crisp, listful sections of clean vocals and undistorted instruments with towering walls of collective, sustained guitar tones and explosive tom and bass drums. At the time of their decision to go on hiatus, the group consisted of five members. Étienne Lepage (bass), François Fortin (drums), Frédéric Arbour (guitars, sound effects), Simon Carignan (rhythm guitar), and Stefan Laroche (vocals). This was also the same collection of musicians who comprised the lineup for this week's focus, Between Elation and Despair.
Between Elation and Despair is Longing For Dawn's most recent album and was released in early 2009 through Grau Records. It features four songs, tracking a total of 52 minutes of expansive and melancholic Funeral Doom that grapples with personal feelings of anguish as a result from the pitfalls of tormented love. "Our Symbolic Burial" is the opening song of Between Elation and Despair. Sounds of distant mountains moving across landscapes give way to droning guitars which erupt into the aforementioned wall of despondence the Canadian quintet employs. The immense sound carries throughout the opening track's duration and into the following three tracks. Woven within the album's immensity are layers of notes that drift between serendipitous and sorrowful. "A Sunrise at Your Feet" and "Reflective" highlight some of these moments. These songs take advantage of arrangements that are a result of Arbour's sound effects flow seamlessly into his and Carignan's guitars. Between Elation and Despair reaches its pinnacle in its final song, "The Piscean Dawn", an utterly enthralling conclusion to a deeply emotional album. Clocking in at 16 minutes, this grandest of finales crushes the listener beneath the weight of its dejection.
It is quite the shame to think that Montreal's Longing For Dawn could be finished. While they are on hiatus, the members of the group are certainly not leading sedentary lifestyles. Frédéric Arbour owns the ambient industrial record label, Cyclic Law, while Étienne Lepage has spent time as a live member of the Black Metal duo, Gevurah, who just released their stunning debut full-length album. François Fortin is spending time in the Progressive Death Metal group, Deviant Process, who also recently released their debut full-length album in March. Fortin also has put time in with the Avant-Garde trio, Escarre, which features Longing For Dawn bandmate, Simon Carignan. The gentlemen of Canada's funerary force do seem to be preoccupied with their other works in recent years, one can only hope they find time to reunite and create new music sometime in the future. Longing For Dawn's albums were recently put on Bandcamp to purchase and can be found on Facebook. Check out Between Elation and Despair below!