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!
The year is slowly coming to an end. Like the glacial tempos that Funeral Doom is known for, it seemed like 2016 slowly steamrolled over all of us. A year marred by the prolific loss of musical talents like Prince, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, and Pauline Oliveros. Column favorites, Bell Witch, experienced tragedy with the death of former drummer, Adrian Guerra. These deaths were compounded by tumultuous election seasons, numerous terrorist attacks, and more horrifying events that made this year seem like one of the worst in recent memory. If there is a silver lining to be found in this darkness, it is that solace can be taken in the music of those no longer with us and the works of many other bands and musicians.
Personally, music is used as a way to either escape from the current world or to confront emotional turmoil. 2016 presented much of that. What has been one of the best things about this column, and Funeral Doom, is the chance to explore and share music that helps achieve this personal goal of music. It is extremely cathartic to have this platform and share music that resonates at such high emotional levels. If there is any positive to immediately take from 2016, it would be the amount of quality releases in the realm of Funeral Doom Metal.
There was much to sift through. There were devastating debuts and returns of rising stars. A number of releases twisted and contorted the very construct of the genre itself. It proved a tall task to try and whittle all of the best the extreme subgenre had to offer this year. Nevertheless, I managed to find my five favorite releases and compiled them with links to their original features from the year. As always, I would love to hear your thoughts and favorite moments from this year. Let us also look forward to a very fruitful and promising 2017!
5. Temple of Abandonment – From Outer Spheres… Death
"An entity amalgamated beyond the mere individuals who make up its structure; the recent Funeral Doom band has caught the ear of lucky listeners with their first work, From Outer Spheres… Death."
4. Yhdarl – A Prelude to the Great Loss
"The two tracks dichotomize Yhdarl's music in a way that showcases Déhà's range (as if his plethora of projects did not prove that anyway). A Prelude to the Great Loss is a healthy dose of Extreme/Funeral Doom Metal that leaves you wanting more."
3. Funeral Mourning – Inertia of Dissonance (A Sermon in Finality)
"The disparaging aura Desolate's newest album emits is bolstered by the artwork of Yag Mort and the layout designed by Desolate himself by using grave dirt, blood, leaves, and ink. The total package is a disparaging blast of darkness and death executed in a stunning fashion."
2. Lycus – Chasms
"Chasms is gloriously mournful as a musical piece and astute in its creation of a funerary atmosphere. The inclusion of the somber cello adds a beautiful, emotive touch to the Lycus's second full-length lament. They continue to progress as musicians now that they have locked down a complete lineup and they are cunning enough to channel fellow doom visionaries like Esoteric, Asunder, and Thergothon without trying to imitate or replicate what their predecessors have done. Their ability to siphon inspiration without draining off creativity exemplifies the artistic brilliance necessary to make a great band."
1. Funeral Moth – Transcience
"Fujishima and company have a much crisper and airier sound than the typical crushing, bleak sounds that one regularly associates to Funeral Doom. The album cover should shed some light on how the album emulates lament. If the music of bands like Fórn or Bell Witch are analogous to sitting in a tomb, staring into the dark; Funeral Moth's music is looking out on the waves of a foggy ocean in remembrance of souls passed."