Funeralium


(Copyright © 2012 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )

Funeralium (2007), 6.5/10
Deceived Idealism (2013), 6.5/10
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Members of French bands Heol Telwen and Ataraxie formed Funeralium and recorded the sprawling suicidal ceremonies of Funeralium (Totalrust, 2007) according to the rules of booming riffs and crawling tempos of doom-metal but adopting shrieking black-metal vocals. In the 15-minute Transcendence N.26 the guttural singing sounds like the nocturnal call from a grave and an unbearable sense of sadness exudes from the guitar lines. Like in the case of most doom-metal, the excitement usually comes from the band gets out of the doom-metal impasse, for example when the 18-minute Funeralium dies down about two thirds of the way and then glides on semi-blast beats, or when seven minutes into the 20-minute Light Crisis there is a calculated crescendo and implosion from which the most desperate cry arises. Let People Die breaks the pattern by staging a surgical 15-minute crescendo that only at the end unleashes a melodic guitar riff (more typical of pop-metal than of doom-metal). It is the howling and growling, more than anything else, that defines the disturbingly dejected atmosphere of this album.

The noisy, chaotic and theatrical overture Blood, Phlegm And Vomit of Deceived Idealism (Weird Truth, 2013) is deceiving as the lengthy pieces are back in hyper-doom mode. What has changed is the mood: there is anger instead of sadness behind 21st Century Ineptia (21:21) and the music more than ever feels like the soundtrack to a soliloquy, to an expressionist kammerspiel. This is a psychological tour de force that has few rivals in the history of doom-metal, but it is as accessible as a rash of power electronics. The even longer Deceived Idealism (25:14), instead, returns to the aesthetic strategy of the first album: extenuating doom repetition and then a break that signals the beginning of the emotional stuff. So does The Higher We Climb The Harder We Fall (12:26), whose redeeming break is a slow acoustic quasi-waltz that erupts in a final incendiary charge. Don't Hope For Any Better Things Now (18:48) completely transcends the genre as it achieves an emphatic peak during a black-metal gallop. This is an exhausting listen, that is rewarding only if you are willing to submit to a quasi-religious cathartic experience.

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(Copyright © 2012 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )
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