Funeral Doom Metal

Vouna – Atropos Review

Vouna – Atropos Review

Vouna was one of my first reviews here at AMG. While I certainly feel dated by the release of Atropos, it also allows me time to reflect. Sole member Yianna Bekris has undoubtedly honed her craft, and I’d like to think that I have as well, even as the morale-boosting beatings continue and the terrifying ape-in-charge keeps staring at me from the dark corner over there. An associate of Wolves in the Throne Room‘s Weaver brothers, Bekris took me completely off-guard with Vouna‘s self-titled debut in 2018, an effort dubbed “funeral doom” but was anything but the bellowing subterranean lurching we’ve come to know and love. Atropos offers a huge step forward, adding a healthy dose of obscurity and an unrelentingly bleak atmosphere to sink your teeth into.” Bleak houses.

Abysskvlt – Phur G. Yang Review

Abysskvlt – Phur G. Yang Review

“More than any other sub-genre of metal, funeral doom lends itself to introspection. Focused, as it is, on weighty and ponderous themes of death and suffering, it’s just not suited to breezy listens between dips in the sea while sipping a drink with an umbrella in it (or to AMG deadlines, for that matter). In fact, funeral doom is one of the few sub-genres that I can only really listen to at a specific time of day, when I’m in an appropriate frame of mind. What folk who don’t listen to this brand of music are missing out on, of course, is the payoff. Nothing hits quite like funeral doom. But sometimes, you have to work to get there. In the case of Russia’s Abysskvlt, you have to work extra hard because they’re serious about drawing their craft out.” Gang’s out, Yang’s out.

Fuoco Fatuo – Obsidian Katabasis Review

Fuoco Fatuo – Obsidian Katabasis Review

“In the case of funeral doom, I’ve run across several people telling me that Skepticism and Moss are the best funeral doom out there, followed by warnings to stay away from Catacombs and Until Death Overtakes Me. What happened? Neither Skepticism nor Moss stuck with me, and I routinely return to Catacombs and Until Death Overtakes Me. With a style as minimalistic as funeral doom, everyone will react differently to the same slab of concrete-thick, 20-BPM riffs, and will entirely depend on the atmosphere it provides.” Journey to the center of Katabasis.

Sepulcros – Vazio Review

Sepulcros – Vazio Review

“Over the last almost-eight years of writing reviews here, I’ve become quite aware of the challenge of selling bands and albums to most readers. Try as I might, though, I’ll admit that funeral doom as a whole is an especially tough sell. Those who know… well, know. But the genre’s nigh-impenetrable lack of speed, lack of riff variety, and gargantuan lengths make it difficult for most people to break into such a sullen, powerful sub-genre. Being a new act makes it even more so, as you’re also competing against the greats of the genre. So what does Portugal’s Sepulcros do to try to separate themselves from the pack with their debut, Vazio?” Selling graves in bulk.

Shattered Hope – Vespers Review

Shattered Hope – Vespers Review

“Like raw black metal, funeral doom operates at the extremely thin edge of an extremely niche wedge. Long, patient, languid tracks put many to sleep with their glacial pace. But glaciers carry enormous momentum as a result of their sheer mass. For those who appreciate it, funeral doom provides an unparalleled — and often profound — journey through grief and sorrow. Greece’s Shattered Hope offer their third attempt at this tricky genre with Vespers.” Sad scooters.

Atramentus – Stygian Review

Atramentus – Stygian Review

“Bearing the “gift” of immortality bestowed to him by the God’s sword, a lone knight trudges across the land, snow crunching beneath his feet with every heavy, weary step. After witnessing the death of the sun and thus all life on Earth perishing, he’s left with no choice but to travel the frozen lands alone, forcing him to recall painful memories of the loss of those he loved, forever trapped under miles upon miles of ice. Now that’s a hefty premise for a debut album, and it would take an equally hefty delivery to even give it a whiff of justice.” Sun No))).

Bell Witch/Aerial Ruin – Stygian Bough Volume I Review

Bell Witch/Aerial Ruin – Stygian Bough Volume I Review

“Dylan Desmond and Jesse Shreibman’s decision to make official their partnership with Erik Moggridge, the man in Aerial Ruin‘s one-man dark folk band, made sense. Moggridge’s guest vocals on Mirror Reaper conveyed grief and loss on a frequency that Bell Witch couldn’t have reached alone. Stygian Bough Volume I pries those mournful dimensions wide in a symbiotic give-and-take quite unlike anything either act has produced before.” Witch in flight.

Esoteric – A Pyrrhic Existence Review

Esoteric – A Pyrrhic Existence Review

“Funeral doom must be the most impenetrable iteration of extreme metal. The genre’s painfully protracted process either engrosses or evades the listener entirely with its inevitable crawl and morose mass. Cherd of Doom and I are blood-bound for the cause where as “metalheads” like Holdeneye
harbor a taste to offend the soul. This lack of middle ground has been exploited to great effect by many bands over the years, but the fittingly named Esoteric take the proverbial cake. The Brits’ particular brand of doom is about as challenging as it gets and wields an entire weather system of psychedelic textures and thunderous passages.” A study in large-scale doomery.

Mizmor – Cairn Review

Mizmor – Cairn Review

“In Gareth Tunley’s haunting and haunted 2016 film The Ghoul, the whole of reality is bent and infected by the protagonist’s depression. He is trapped in a twisted, magically real manifestation of a Möbius strip. Here, all means of escape are soon revealed to be nothing but bottomless ladders that descend into the darkest craters of the human psyche. The beginning is the end is the beginning. There is no escape. But unlike The Ghoul’s main character who ultimately appears powerless, Portland, Oregon’s A.L.N. has the music of the project Mizmor (מזמור) on his side, both as a weapon and a vessel of catharsis.” WMDs for hope.

Shades of Deep Water – Death’s Threshold Review

Shades of Deep Water – Death’s Threshold Review

“It’s been a fair amount of time now since I first came across Death’s Threshold, the sophomore full-length for “J.H.’s” one-man funeral doom project, Shades of Deep Water, in the plentiful wastes that constitute the Promo Bin. I was astounded; funeral doom is a bit of a rarity, after all, and I would expect the vultures my coworkers to snatch up any errant scraps like, well, vultures. I hesitated only a moment before grabbing the album and absconding. After all, one does not simply listen to funeral doom.” Knee deep in doom.