Archive for the ‘Funerary’ Category

Funerary — Starless Aeons

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

Just over a year ago, an atmospheric funeral doom band lurking in the shadows of Phoenix, Arizona, put out a collection of songs that would be very well received by those able to get their hands on it. Funerary’s Starless Aeons was initially and quietly made available as a free download in digital format with a very limited run of 50 cassettes via the Midnite Collective to go along with it. Now, an “official” release through Sentient Ruin Laboratories is imminent in the coming week, with the album being made available again digitally alongside another very limited hand-made cassette run. If you missed it the first time, now is your chance to dive into the colossal soundscapes of misery that Funerary filled the soul with the first time around.

Whilst the numbers may not be reaching the levels of the blues-based sludge family in American doom, there is definitely an increase in the presence of those gravitating towards the deeply morose and funeral stream of doom metal, and of the highest quality to boot. Funerary are certainly here to bolster those ranks with five works of majestic and meditative coldness, crashing into the vast ocean of heavy music as collapsing glacial slabs heralding the extinction of life with a hypnotizing apocalyptic intent. The despondent tone of Starless Aeons is unyielding in its force, weighing down the listener to the earth with its dramatic atmosphere of hopelessness.

Starless Aeons flows together as though it is one piece with movements, rather than a collection of songs. This perception is intensified by most of the songs linking together with soundscapes and ambient effect, along with the collection as a whole giving the strong impression of a singular narrative stream characterized by ceremonially paced grief. Each detail and progression is purposeful and emotionally genuine, expressed with subtlety and patience, components of an essential foundation for fantastic doom music.

“Coerced Creation” provides initiation through instantaneous high volume and ferocity, with a procession of feedback and heavy demolition pulverizing the spirit below shrieking frostbitten vocals. The assault evolves seamlessly into desolate winds of drone-filled atmosphere, gradually bringing crestfallen melodies into play towards the end of “Atonement”, coursing along the same pulse straight into “Beneath the Black Veil”. This central movement overflows with misery, crystallizing the blood with a stunning dolorous harmonized guitar gliding over frigid and spacious accents of funeral doom. The title track follows with a relatively brief and minimal drone, an uninhabitable frozen plain, full of emptiness. In the end, melody is replaced by discord, quietly building up from foreboding strums and feedback into riffs and screams of pure anguish. There is a brief return to the expansive feeling of “…Veil”, before plummeting from the heights back into overwhelming despondency, fading away into a storm of feedback-driven noise.

Starless Aeons is an album of well-crafted symbiotic contradictions, as is the case with so many of the great doom records, without ever veering from its intoxicating essence of crippling depression. It could be the soundtrack for exploring a lifeless world of eternal winter just as much as it is a vast hymn to being locked callously away within the confines of a state of mind completely bereft of hope. If you love doom at its darkest emotive ebb, be sure you pay this world of Funerary’s a visit. Just make sure you remember the way back.

The Black Captain hosts RTRFM’s Brain Blood Volume on July 26 at 1am (+8GMT). You can restream his last appearance on Behind the Mirror here.