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Review: Until Death Overtakes Me - Symphony III - Monolith
Until Death Overtakes Me
Symphony III - Monolith

Label: Flood the Earth Records
Year released: 2006
Duration: 74:10
Tracks: 4
Genre: Funeral Doom


Review online: January 9, 2007
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4/5 (80%) (5 Votes)

OK, if you don't recognize the band's name, before you check out this album's genre; check out the number of tracks… then check out the album duration. Three guesses what style of music? Yes, Funeral doom all the way, and to these ears, this is quite possibly (apart from maybe Bunkur), the slowest, most dirge-like, despondent funeral doom you're ever going to hear. This is a solo project of Belgian doom-meister Stijn van Cauter, who has countless doom side projects, as well as showing his quality by playing live with Pantheist.

The album sets the tone from the off with some disturbing synth work on the opening track 'Thus' which washes over you, seeping into the places you don't want it to go, exposing weakness, and attacking on sight. The next track is where the doom really kicks in, with fuzzing, fizzy guitars tuned so low you can imagine the strings clattering against the fretboards, melancholic synthwork, church bells, almost non-existent percussion and the lowest of the low rumbling vocals which are almost inaudible due to the fact they're set so low in the mix. Yes, this is truly music that wants you to kill yourself. Created in a colorless dust-filled world of darkness where suicide is the only solution, each crushing note eroding joy, and washing away comfort. How you take your metal usually will almost definitely affect the way you react to that last sentence, but to me, if an album comes very close to invoking emotions like that, it must be doing something right. This probably isn't for those of a weak disposition, and especially not for those with severe attention deficiency problems as it takes a lot of perseverance and patience to get full enjoyment from it (if you can call it enjoyment – it's a hard feeling to describe the hypnotic, sporadic mantra like affect to be honest).

Seriously though, those parents who sued Metallica, Priest and Ozzy over supposedly 'suggestive' song lyrics would have a field day here. The aural equivalent of hardcore porn – leaving nothing to the imagination. Just don't leave it on repeat whatever you do; you might not be around to turn it off afterwards if it eats into you as much as I think it probably could...

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