CVLT NATION’S TOP NINE FUNERAL DOOM RELEASES OF 2017

NINE – MESMUR S

Read full interview HERE.

 

EIGHT – FUOCO FATUO Back Water

Fuoco Fatuo (meaning “will-o’-the-wisp” in Italian) have truly come a long way, from their humble beginnings as a “provincial” Italian sludge band (in the vein of Eyehategod/Grief) to becoming the visionary funeral (death)-doom colossus they are today. We may never truly know what can make such a primitive and admittedly slightly clueless entity morph and suddenly spread such monstrous wings to become such a majestic beast, but what we do know is that today, whatever demon these guys sold their souls to, Fuoco Fatuo are beholders of the most demoralizing, apocalyptic, sunless, and cursed sonic oppression known to mankind, and that they have suddenly imposed themselves as one of the most crushing and dominating “slow” bands out there today.

You can tell that  Backwater is a work which was likely crafted in near seclusion and that the band took its time with it, with patience, care, and lots of dedication. Everything about it appears to be meticulously studied and without the slightest detail going ignored. It is a very focused, methodic, and mercilessly confident album that has managed to open gates to absolutely unimaginable sonic greatness and to some truly unsettling atmospheres that can’t even be fathomed if not envisioned through the most dedicated and focused creative lens. The songwriting on this beast is “visionary” in that it makes you think that the band had somehow foreseen it in their minds and set out to simply assemble it from the ground up, using the blueprint that appeared to them like some kind of omen. In fact, due to its magistral sound and structure, the whole record appears to have been birthed with the end result already in mind, and the songs have an almost contemplative nature, as if its final form and overall sound was already somehow predestined…

Read full review Here

 

SEVEN – BLOOD OF SOKAR S/T

From the opening song, “Cælestibus,” cresting into “Hallucinatus,” there is an unfathomable well of torment and apoplexy. The music’s dirge only heaps dirt upon the exasperation that sets in. Blood of Sokar’s thick bass and sludge-infested guitar lines virtually guarantee this temperament will not cease.  This Seattle-based act, which transcends funeral doom and blackened doom, delivers exactly the kind of recording that fear is made of….Pinched via The Sludgelord

Read the full review Here

 

SIX – CIRCADIAN RITUAL Befallen

Right here and now is your chance to hear the new CIRCADIAN RITUAL soon to be released LP in full. Every minute of this majestic recording is pure heavy magic! The pre-order is live here at Live Fast Die Records.

 

 

FIVE – ISENORDAL Shores of Mourning

The album opens with “Shores of Mourning,” which begins with the gentle sound of waves and a melancholy piano line; shortly thereafter an acoustic guitar and drums come in, then the strings and an ethereal female voice singing wordlessly come in, and then finally a black metal rasp joins the mix. It’s a remarkable mix of sounds and textures, and it continues for a good four minutes before finally the first distorted guitar comes in, at which point the song takes a turn toward glacial funeral doom. Later in the song, a mournful violin soars over a blackened double-bass section while a clean female vocal and a harsher male voice play off of each other in a very natural way, and never encroaches on the slightly cheesy ‘beauty and the beast’ style vocals of a band like Draconian. The track eventually runs north of eleven minutes, and you will be rapt the entire time…Pinched via Indy Metal Vault

Read full review Here

 

FOUR – FUNERALIUM Of Throes and Blight

2017 could be the year of funeral doom if only people had the patience. Six months in this anno satanae and we have three masterpieces of the genre; Fuoco Fatuo’s Backwater, Loss’ Horizonless and now Funeralium‘s Of Throes and Blight. It all comes down to how you like your funeral doom – or whether you have the time, the stamina and the taste for it, really. Fuoco Fatuo’s latest is a masterpiece of layering, gorgeous when you shut your eyes and concentrate. Too bad the artwork gets lost presenting texture over detail. Loss on the other hand, have dealt a pretty card. Like its gorgeous cover, their present take on doom has bright spots, moments of light and the incandescent idea that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Read full review Here...

 

THREE – USNEA Portals Into Futility

Hailing from Portland, Oregon, Usnea appeared in the extreme doom/death scene fairly recently, releasing their self-titled debut album back in 2013. It did not take long for them to be noticed by Relapse, which put out their sophomore record Random Cosmic Violence the following year. Even though their second album was good, it felt like the band might have rushed the compositions and the recording of the album slightly. While interesting and captivating, it seemed that there was still a lot of aspects of the album left unexplored.

Returning now with Portals Into Futility, Usnea keep working their way around the doom/death essence, inspired by the dystopian elements of today’s reality. Their two previous works was influenced by primordial concepts, like “Chaoskampf” the eternal struggle against chaos, and ancient history, showing an interested towards the torture device of “The Brazen Bull of Phalaris.” For Portals Into Futility, the focus swifts towards the sci-fi territory, referencing Ursula Le Guin’s “Lathe of Heaven,” and the haunting notions of today’s society leaning towards pseudoscience in “Demon Haunted World,” named after Carl Sagan’s seminal work.

Read full review Here...

 

TWO – LOSS Horizonless

Despite their releases being few and sparse, Loss should be considered extreme doom/death royalty. This is also depicted in the collaborations they have done, releasing split records with Necros Christos and Worship, at a time when both those acts were still getting their footing in the extreme metal scene. It took Loss seven years from their inception to release their debut full-length, Despond, but it was well worth the wait. Depicting a band that had a great grasp on the sound and feel of the genre, understanding all the nooks and crannies that are in play when creating this dark and ominous music, it was an astounding record of doom/death weight coupled with mournful overlaps.

Extreme doom/death, or under its sillier moniker, funeral doom, is not about simply playing slow. If your music is without feeling, without purpose, slowing it down will not do much good. Loss know that, and they understand how they can use the slow pace to their advantage, to enrich the feeling their tracks transmit, not to simply hide behind it. What matters is what happens between the heavy beats and fading guitars, establishing a flow between the parts, and switching up when needed. It is all about orchestrating with the pacing, finding the proper place to experiment. This is where outbreaks from the repetitive progression can be exploited, as in the ending of “The Joy of All Who Sorrow” where the blastbeats intrude and reveal an even more crushing manifestation.

Read full review Here

ONE – BELL WITCH Mirror Reaper

A tale of death, suffering and pain, told by the ingenious and perverse mind of Dylan Desmond, that never fails to surprise. Bell Witch are back with Mirror Reaper (Profound Lore), a masterpiece that includes the debut on drums of Jesse Shreibman, successor to the late Adrian Guerra, who died in 2016 during the composition of the album.

Read full review Here

 

 

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Sean Reveron

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