It’s the weekend! What better way to get it started than with the latest installment of “Funeral Doom Fridays”. 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, my 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!
Parisians, Monolithe, are a seven-piece ensemble that has been making music since 2001, releasing their debut album, Monolithe I, in 2003. Founded by Sylvain Bégot, Monolithe crafted gigantic single-song funeral doom albums that spanned over fifty minutes on each of their first four full-length albums. Their first two full-length albums were released through Appease Me Records and Candlelight Records, respectively. Entering the production of Monolithe III, the group began working with Michigan-based Debemur Morti Productions. In addition to releasing Monolithe III and the focus of today's feature, Monolithe IV, they re-released the group's first two albums with new artwork to better represent the albums' identities.
The French septet's albums teeter between traditional doom metal and the despondency of funeral doom. Richard Loudin's vocals are deep and enormously ominous, creating a feeling of funeral doom while the six-piece instrumentation ebbs and flows marvelously, thus preventing stagnation. The rhythm section comes complete with a quartet of guitarists (Bégot, Benoît Blin, Rémi Brochard, and bassist, Olivier Defives), Thibault Faucher on drums, and Matthieu Marchand on keyboards. The potential for bigger and more expansive sounds is much greater by having such a relatively large number or musicians in the band. Monolithe use every member to their fullest to create a flowing and immersive landscape of equal parts depressive and triumphant doom. At fifty-seven minutes, Monolithe IV requires some patience, but the listener's patience is greatly rewarded by a wildly imaginative experience. I highly recommend that you as the listener go back after hearing this and listen to their first three full-length albums.