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 week's feature marks the beginning of Funeral Doom Friday's second full year. It has been a wonderful opportunity over the past 12 months to share some of the best that extreme doom has to offer with Metal Injection readers. Yet, while last year was great, the goal is always to do better. 2017's prospects are exciting. Many great bands will be releasing new albums during this new year. Metal Injection is as excited as anybody to hear and share these offerings with fellow fans of funeral doom. It seemed right to start off an exciting new year with a double feature of albums that use extreme doom in two very distinctly different ways.
The Irish quintet of Soothsayer has been crafting music for nearly three years now. They released their second effort last week. Their EP, At This Great Depth, features two new tracks. Soothsayer builds a melodic, atmospheric brand of doom metal. Within this atmosphere is where much of the band's funerary elements reside. Each of the tracks on the album uses somber preludes to build anticipation. For example, a growing wave of drums appears over the first six minutes of "Umpire" before erupting into blackened fury. A similar approach is seen on "Of Locust and Moths." Crystalline guitars play melancholic notes while haunting chants ring out. The woe ultimately gives way to sludge-ridden riffs.
For Soothsayer, funeral doom is not the primary motif. Yet, the group demonstrates a commanding grip it and of numerous other genres. They use funeral doom in conjunction with sludge and black metal to create an invigorating blend of vibrant music. Cork's purveyors of doom are still in their early days as a band, but the work they have created in their short time garners a lot of promise for the future. Soothsayer can be found on Facebook and their album can be purchased through Bandcamp.
Yhdarl is no stranger to Funeral Doom Friday. Following the release of A Prelude to the Great Loss last summer, Déhá has decided to compile years of unreleased work into one ominous, monolithic endeavor. Antithesis clocks in at a staggering five hours of funeral doom and drone. It arrived with the dawn of the new year and demanded to be tackled. The songs of Antithesis run anywhere from 12 to 53 minutes long and is intended to be listened to in one sitting. The album is filled with haunting and terrifying screams that swirl and echo over cavernous threnody. Patiently sustained guitar chords anchor the listener to the despair that seeps from Déhá's consciousness.
Antithesis features a few guest appearances as well. "Breathing 6666 Needles", the album's third song, sees Ascaris (Ævangelist), Jon Rosenthal (Venowl, Footpaths), and Casey Hogan (Venowl) sacrifice their voices to pained yells. The track is a personal highlight of the album. Yet, each moment of Yhdarl's immersive dread is well worth the time. Antithesis is broken up into two main parts, "Everything is Futile" and "Trimares," and contain six and three songs, respectively. While it may seem daunting, five hours is an easy task when Antithesis becomes more engrossing with every passing minute.
Déhá is using Antithesis to fund the work going into creating Yhdarl's next full-length album, Loss. The band can be found on Facebook and the album can be purchased through Bandcamp. While there, the works from Déhá's other projects are also available for purchase. They are certainly worth the time to check out.