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,
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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