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. Please feel free to also share thoughts or suggestions for future installments in the comments section below or to me directly on Twitter.
The Howling Void – "A Seed on Stone"
Ryan Wilson mans the entirety of The Howling Void. His work in the funeral doom project began back in 2007 and in the past decade, he has continually refined his sound to meet a particular sense of melancholia. His new album, The Darkness at the Edge of Dawn, arrives November 25 from Avantgarde Music, and his further progression now includes wonderful clean vocals. From "A Seed on Stone" alone this is a marked improvement from Wilson. Not to slight his previous efforts, but this decision to pair clean vocals and against the underlying melody of the track is wildly enthralling. Check back in a couple weeks for more coverage on The Darkness at the Edge of Dawn.
Norilsk – "Namolennye"
The Quebecois duo of Norilsk sees its return this November as well. It has been a couple of years since they released The Idea of North. The band relies on an icy death-doom that subtly adds touches of sludge. Their impending album, Le Passage des Glaciers, arrives November 24 from Hypnotic Dirge Records. The first available track, named "Nammolennye", captures the frigid aesthetic of the album. Moments of the song capture a funereal minimalism of single drum hits and guitar string plucks. Other instances come down like an avalanche of riffs and rolls.
Anatomia – Cranial Obsession
If Norilsk's death-doom was icy and frigid, then Anatomia's is filthy and gore-ridden. The Tokyo trio's Cranial Obsession is undoubtedly an exercise in malignancy. They channel early Autopsy and modern contemporaries like Undergang to create a soundtrack for evisceration. Their approach is not simply a gross ripping and tearing of flesh however. The band introduced keyboards and more deliberate tempo shifts into their music. "Vanishment" is a great example of this. The album's third track plays out on a lugubrious plod—one that takes careful precision and patience. "Morbid Hallucination" is more of a mid-tempo stomp than anything else. One of the album's central pieces that will certainly get listeners' heads bobbing. The album concludes on two tracks that push past the 15 and 10-minute marks, respectively. Pick up Cranial Obsession today from Nuclear War Now! Productions.