Saturday, August 23, 2014

Funerary : "Starless Aeon"

This band from Pheonix crashes in with some sludge infused doom. When we listened to Yob's new one it led us to the place where we were asking what is doom? What is the difference between doom and sludge? It seemed darkness and dispair are the elements that weave together doom, even if you go back to Black Sabbath's earlier monolithic moments creating the genre and well... metal as we know it.

Like most extreme metal album if they hit you hard enough the first song finds you trying to catch your breath and get you bearings as if you have been punched. The finer points of song writing can get bull dozed under by sheer power. Rather than trying to replicate the beating they start off with the rest of the album finds moments of atmosphere, while keeping things at a gurgling dark crawl, from the vocals to the oppressive guitars, that can shed the thick distortion when needed. Songs like "Atonement" are the perfect display here, with the guitar almost flirting with a post rock sound at times. Even though this song is largely instrumental with the low gasp of vocals creating a haunting under current of atmospheric this sound is so original until it works for me. When "Beneath the Black Veil" takes this and elevates it the result is pretty uncanny.

Some of the wild spastic vocal patterns take on a similar assualt to your ears as say Eyehategod. Not relly comprehensible, the reckless nature of punk giving the place where melody would normally surface more of a gritty coat. The grind chug stirs like a rabid beast awakening to a hang over on "Depressor". The lyrics are null at this point, as the screaming rants out from the dense mix.  Bands like Buzz Oven come to mind with the low end throb these guys dish out. They win me over because they are as heavy sonically as they are metal.

While this is one of those albums I can just leave on and let throb in the background, I still feel like I need to round it down to a 9.5, as the fact the sonic brutality of this often compensates for where the drone doesn't always make the most perfect songwriting, effective...yes...perfect no. The haphazard vocal approach plays into this, I get most of the vocals are just for texture, but a ten would be to say this stands up against Sabbath or Acid Bath who bring a broader dynamic to what they do, not to say these guys don't excel at what they have done and this isn't one of the best doom metal albums out now.



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