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 entry into Funeral Doom Friday is a highly impressive album that was released this past Monday. Melbourne, Australia-based Subterranean Disposition was founded by Terry Vainoras in 2011. Vainoras has decades of experience in music with other bands such as The Eternal, InSomnius Dei and currently Order of Chaos. To this point, Vainoras has released two albums as Subterranean Disposition, a 2012 self-titled album and this newest endeavor, Contagiuum and the Landscapes of Failure. The album was premiered over at Invisible Oranges by Jon Rosenthal, who delivered a well-written exclusive listen of the album. I felt it appropriate to continue to heap praise on this piece of music after hearing the whole thing myself.
Contagiuum and the Landscapes of Failure is, by all accounts, a Death-Doom album. As explained in the past, Death-Doom does spawn Funeral Doom Metal and with Subterranean Disposition's newest album it toes the line between progenitor and descendant. What this riveting piece of music also brings are many unconventional Heavy Metal instruments as well as guest appearances to further expand on the overall sound of the album. Vainoras is a wildly talented musician who, on top of guitar and bass duties, contributed a saxophone, varied vocal styles, and lyrics to the album. Vainoras recruited the drummer, Dan Nahum who has done work in a number of bands like Dead River Runs Dry and Bleakwood, as well as Gelareh Pour to play kamancheh, Qeychak Alto and contribute her lovely voice to the song "Embittered" and Daniel Lucas to contribute vocals throughout the album.
What is most striking about Contagiuum and the Landscapes of Failure is the refreshing amount of external influences that the album uses. There are psychedelic and folk-soaked tinges layered into the music as well as moments of jazz and Eastern World music compliments of Vainoras's saxophone and Pour's stringed instruments, respectively. There are many shining moments of this throughout the album. "Wooden Kimono Fixative", for example, features a saxophone intro before ripping to brain-rattling Death-Doom. A personal favorite, and the earlier-noted, "Embittered", features what might be the most Funeral Doom part of the album. The inclusion of Pour's voice adds an element of sorrow and, at times, terror. It is an absolutely harrowing track that envelopes the listener in certain instances and jettisons them at other times, leaving the listener to wallow in despair or melancholia.
The remaining duration of the album is fiercely diverse. "A Lifelong Slumber" and album closer, "Aggressors Clothed as Victims" showcase dynamic vocal arrangements and a bit more experimentation from Vainoras and his collective gang of guest musicians. It caps off a remarkably entertaining album. Overall, Contagiuum and the Landscapes of Failure has culminated in one of the most refreshing and unique compositions that has surfaced in 2016 and has been arguably the best new work featured in this column this year. I strongly urge you all who read this column regularly to purchase it from Bandcamp and if you are able to, donate to Terry's GoFundMe page for his tough-as-nails wife, who is dealing with a handful of medical conditions. It is always terrible to see bad things happen to great and beautiful people.