If there’s one thing I love, it’s Funeral Doom. If there’s one thing I love even more, it’s long, quality Funeral Doom albums that take you on a journey through an abyss of bleakness and despair. That’s exactly what this album is.
This is the third full-length album by French purveyors of blackened doomy depressive misery, Funeralium. This one was one of my top most anticipated albums this year, as I love these guys and their last album, 2012’s Deceived Idealism was a fucking ripper. My expectations were high, and they are one of the few bands I can actually trust with high expectations… and not only were they met, but they were exceeded. I said a few months ago that this was going to be a great year for Doom, given all the bands we’re getting new releases from, and I have yet to be disappointed by any of them thus far, and this is no exception. This is a four-track, hour and a half-long serving of thick, crushing, miserable and fucking punishing pure Blackened Funeral Doom Metal that slowly drags you through a tunnel of pain, despair and utter chaos that you don’t see the light at the end of for a long, long, LONG fucking time.
This ugly journey starts with Slowly We Crawl Towards Crumb, where the assault begins immediately with the first of many pounding riffs that await you, which continues for the entire 27-minute duration of this opener. Then we have Spit at My Face, I Will Pluck Your Tongue Out, which exhibits no different than the previous attack and brutalizes you with even more thick, murky riffs, dragging, bassy drums and the tortured lament of frontman, Marquis as he unleashes the most ear-curdling shrieks and growls I’ve heard in quite a while. This is quality head-bashing Doom in the vein of the likes of Ahab, Doom:VS, Lycus, Frowning and another band that graced us with an absolute masterpiece of an album just a few weeks ago, Loss. This is the kind of Funeral Doom that has always pleased me and kept me interested in the genre; thick, crushing and downright heavy and hard-hitting, as opposed to the more drony and atmospheric style you’d hear from bands like Bell Witch or Until My Funerals Began. Not knocking those bands, I just prefer the heavier shit when it comes to this.
Anyway, even when things do get a little repetitive at certain points, this album just has a way of keeping your interest until it’s done. The overall sound and style just demands your attention and you just can’t help but stay in tune to the very end. The bleak and miserable nature of this band’s sound encompasses what I love about this sub-genre and why I place Doom and Black Metal as the two most creative and ever-evolving genres in the entire Metal stratosphere. Things get slightly quieter in the beginning of the last two tracks, Vermin and the epic 32-minute closer Vanishing Once and for All, as both start off with slow, somber picking to lure you in, and then immediately dives right back into the crushing brutality of what the first two offerings gave you and gives you one last assault before you exit the abyss. The last beating is the longest one. Nice and thorough. At the end of this long, drawn out and harrowing expedition, I was left absolutely pleased and with my expectations absolutely shattered.
Overall, I can’t praise this album enough. It’s yet another masterpiece handed to us by the Doom gods and yet another one that will sure as fuck make it’s way onto my 2017 year-end list. This has been an exceptional year for Doom so far, thanks to Loss, Frowning, King Woman, Bathsheba and now these French fuckers and I couldn’t be any happier about it. We still have more to look forward to, from Evoken, Primitive Man and a few others, but until then, this album is damn sure to be on repeat for a while. Another slow, ear-shattering masterpiece by one of the most despondent acts in the game today. Well done.
Until next time.