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.
The first half of 2017 sure was busy. After deciding to expand the scope of Funeral Doom Friday to encompass other similar styles of doom metal; the amount of music available to feature obviously grew as well. The first six months offered a number of riveting releases. Most notably, at least personally, were new releases from Idre and Vin de Mia Trix. They each provided some of the most unique and refreshing doom metal thus far. Regular features, Imperceptum and Yhdarl, also released new music this year. Stijn Van Cauter resurrected Until Death Overtakes Me. His now solo effort wonderfully fused darkwave music into funeral doom. Markov Soroka also brought back Slow. The subaqueous endeavor dropped a new single song EP named Mother Cetacean.
More recently, members of bands like Ataraxie and Sordide made new music as Funeralium and Wastes (they're vicious albums). The new Loss album has received widespread acclaim from critics also. Mizmor created a brand new song to celebrate a box set collection. His 2016 album Yodh was my album of the year and his new song follows a similar path. Another release of note; the debut of Pyrrhon's Doug Moore and Stephen Schwegler and violinist Gina Hendrika Eygenhuysen's Weeping Sores project. The typically experimental death metal tendencies of the Pyrrhon men turned to beautiful death doom.
Even with such an intriguing former half of the year, the second half promises to be even more exciting. There are plenty of prospective albums on the horizon. Legendary force Mournful Congregation and Pantheist are rumored to be working on music that could be released by the end of the year. Seattle's Bell Witch recently posted updates on their album and from the sounds of their update, it is shaping up to be even more monstrous than Four Phantoms. Profound Lore Records confirmed that New Jersey titans Evoken will be releasing an album this year as well as Never Forever, the new full-length record from French drone doom band, Monarch.
Portland, Oregon's Hell will soon be releasing its self-titled album (very soon) through Sentient Ruin Laboratories. Detroit, Michigan's Temple of Void's new album, Lords of Death, is also arriving soon. The rising death-doom force has quickly garnered a fervent following and the new album should not disappoint. Clouds, the international effort featuring members from various column favorites, plans to release a new EP called Destin in September. Perhaps most exciting are the new releases from burgeoning stars Spectral Voice and Fórn who are due to release their latest work in the last three months of the year.
There is a lot that has been released so far this year and there is a lot to come still. Rest assured that Funeral Doom Friday will continue to cover the best that extreme doom metal has to offer. 2017 has been incredibly exciting thus far and looks to just get better. If there is anything the column missed or something you are looking forward to, let us know in the comments section!