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.
It is going to get really filthy and pessimistic this week. The Banbridge, Northern Ireland trio of Owlcrusher has been making some waves on metal twitter this week. They have released their debut full-length album this week after nearly four years under their current moniker. They simply, yet succinctly, described their eponymous album as "Apocalyptic, Hateful and Nihilistic Blackened Sludge." After a few recommendations and a quick listen, this is literally the most accurate description possible.
Owlcrusher tracks three songs and runs roughly 43 minutes long, thus giving sizable masses of blackened and sludge-laden doom. The opener, "Feeble Preacher" builds off of droning riffs that menacingly loom over the listener. Caustic black metal shrieks pierce through the murky tone of the guitar and the rumbling low-end that seeps out of the bass and drums. The following title track and closer, "Spoiler", follow a similar suit; it creates a thunderous, hate-fueled ride through Hell. It is nearly three quarters of an hour of torment and spite.
Listen to the self-titled debut from Owlcrusher now on Bandcamp and be sure to purchase a digital copy. The band is also on Facebook where you can keep up with their activity.