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.
Enjoy this week's post and check out prior features here. Feel free to also share thoughts or suggestions for future installments in the comments section below
The goal for this column throughout much of this year has been to expand the scope of its coverage. Some of you may have noticed that not everything covered is strictly funerary. There are some great examples of death doom that have passed through. There have also been examples of artists taking the funeral doom foundation and conducting experiments on it. Yet, this week it manages to go another direction still. Funeral doom has a strong root in dirge. There is a sense of mourning or grief that stems from a guitar's strings or the pain in one's voice. It has set this kind of metal apart from the rest of the field as a result. This sort of sorrow, or gloom for a more appropriate descriptor, runs through Oklahoma City's Idre.
Like the plains of Oklahoma, the trio's music is sprawling. Their new album, Unforgiving Landscapes, is only two songs yet it tracks almost 45 minutes long. A friend of mine, Jon Rosenthal, premiered the album towards the end of April at Invisible Oranges. His excellent write-up alluded to the gothic and folk elements embedded within the album. Idre's atmospheric doom certainly capitalizes on these extra-metallic elements. Droning, single-note riffs carry a touch of a twang. The rhythm section burrows beneath the dirt with a booming drill of drums and bass. Airy vocals drift and sway throughout the mix. It all coalesces in a gloomy yet ethereal blend of doom.
Unforgiving Landscapes will finally arrive on May 19. LPs (Wolves and Vibrancy Records) and Cassettes (Breathe Plastic Records) are available for pre-order now. Listen to the full album here. Make sure to follow Idre on Facebook also.