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.
Russia's Talsur knows how to navigate doom metal's spectrum. From stoner to funeral and everything in between, the one-man act is doom's jack of all trades. Each release varies in style and there is seemingly no rhyme or reason to what kind of music Talsur will release; it's kind of a nice surprise each time. This time around, on his newest full-length album, Tormented, it's a return to gothic death doom. Last July, almost a year to the day, Talsur released Offertorium, a four-song EP that tapped into a similar style of music. While the EP was great, Tormented delivers a bigger dose of classic, romantic doom.
The album is a slow build, but it certainly pays off as time passes. Album highlights like "Bleeding" and "Mortal Beloved" kick off the second half of the record, but their massive, evocative arrangements are the centerpiece of Tormented—both literally and figuratively. It is these examples that showcase the Russian entity's mastery of early Peaceville-era gothic doom the most perhaps. I still attest that this is when Talsur is at its strongest.
Give Tormented a listen and find out for yourself. If you have extra time today, Talsur also recently uploaded a large back catalog of music to Bandcamp. It is a great opportunity to see each style of doom he has tackled over the years. Also, find Talsur on Twitter.