|Review: Funeral Mourning - Drown in Solitude|
|Drown in Solitude|
Label: Black Plague Records
Year released: 2008
Originally released in: 2006
Genre: Funeral Doom
Review online: March 8, 2009
Reviewed by: Brett Buckle
for:Drown in Solitude
Rated 3/5 (60%) (3 Votes)
Funeral Doom is the ultimate love it or leave it genre. The ultimately slow riffs and ponderous thudding of the drums requires a level of patience from the listener that no other genre does. Throwing his hat into the ring is one Desolation, the one-man force behind Australia's Funeral Mourning. Drown in Solitude is an album of (suitably) mournful Funeral Doom, depressing and disheartening, but largely unexciting and by-the-numbers in execution.
Kicking off with the lumbering dirge that is "Winds of Unknown Existence", Funeral Mourning immediately announce their intentions to remove anything that even looks like it might be a happy or positive thought. This is not the cataclysmic funereality of Esoteric or Tyranny; this is the deeply morose, introspective depression of Nortt or Forgotten Tomb. Throughout its ten minute length the track switches between drawn out single note riffs and quiet melodic acoustic guitars and ambience, striving to capture the loneliness of an overcast winter day, and for the most part succeeding. The title track has a short acoustic intro before delivering a crushing opening riff that crawls toward to listener like a dying god, huge and decaying, and the keyboards that swell into the latter part of the song are ideally atmospheric. So, while there are plentiful examples of Desolate doing things the right way, he does them pretty much exactly according to the instructions. There is little variation in pace and almost no dynamics, and even at only 38 minutes it becomes wearing. Also, both the shorter title track and "Your Waters" seem to end fairly abruptly, just fading out in the middle of a riff without any hint that the either has reached a natural conclusion and feeling decidedly unfinished.
With a very nice clean tone the acoustic guitars sound just right, the production highlight of the album. When the distortion kicks in it is very fuzzy and bleak (in a good way of course) but you are left a little wanting as the album has the bass too low in the mix to provide the resonant bottom end that this sort of music requires. The vocals are those cavernous growls common to the genre, deep and sonorous like the distant voice of an elder god, but for my mind they are not as suited to this album. The music is more immediate and personal than the impending nihilism of Esoteric or the Cthulu-esque Catacombs; this is an atmosphere of depression and better suited to a more urgent vocal style akin to Herr Morbid of Forgotten Tomb. Don't get me wrong, they are well performed, but do detract from the feel of the album.
Drown in Solitude is not a bad album by any stretch of the imagination, but it really is for fans of the genre. This does not have the wider appeal of a band like Evoken, being written for a very niche audience, with its "no surprises" take on plodding Doom Metal. Fans of the genre will be happy enough with it but there really is nothing here that hasn't been heard before, so it's really only for those who just can't get enough of this style. Fans of early Nortt may add another half point to the score.
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