Funeralium - Of Throes And Blight review
|Album:||Of Throes And Blight|
|Release date:||April 2017|
01. Slowly We Crawl Towards Crumbs
02. Spit At My Face, I Will Pluck Your Tongue Out
02. Vanishing Once And For All
What the Hell have I got myself into here? Where to begin? I guess I could go the obvious route and compare the miserable experience of listening to this to an obscure form of slow and excruciating torture… Or I could go the humorous route and compare it to ordering pizza delivery in Paraguay. Fuck it. 2 disks, 4 songs, 90+ minutes. Let's do both.
For starters, Of Throes And Blight is not for the faint of (metal) heart. It is long, totally without conscience, without mercy, without pity and, seemingly, without end.
Did I say "without end"?
As noted above, 2 disks, 4 songs and 90+ minutes… which puts it somewhere around Esoteric's Maniacal Vale in terms of pure dooming satisfaction. Like Maniacal Vale, listening to the album in its entirety in one sitting is a test of wills as Funeralium in slow, methodical fashion assault you, slowly stripping you of your defenses in an unrelenting onslaught.
The slow-but-not-glacial pacing allows the weight of each note or plod of the drums to constrict around you. The thing with doom is the nakedness of the music. Whereas frantic pace ramps up urgency and can camouflage weaker songs, the near absolute lack of pace for more extreme forms of doom means each note, each riff is laid bare and either clearly miss the mark or hit home. Funeralium have mastered the craft of making sure every minute of these songs is wielded like a weapon.
The vocals are sometimes guttural, but mostly howled, shrieked or rasped, very effectively meshing with bleak, cavernous production. It's a miasma of desolation. The slow, plodding drums feel a little distant at times, but still kick, although the force might be illusory given the gap between stomping the bass. The guitar work is a swell blend of some power combined against mournful melodies.
It's pretty bleak. LIke an afternoon on the rack.
"So yeah, someone mentioned pizza" you say? "How exactly is an album like ordering a pepperoni pie?"
It goes like this. Customer service here isn't exactly job 1. Ordering a pizza for delivery is willingly subjecting yourself to a game of psychological warfare. On more than one occasion the ordeal is so long, drawn out and taxing you find yourself in something akin to the Eight Stages of Grief
- What the fuck time is it? How long ago did we order?
- Disbelief - What the fuck? The order tracker says they're still making the pizza… it doesn't take an hour to cook a pizza?
- Rage - Where the hell is my pizza? Bitter SMASH!
- Entrapment - Where the hell is my pizza? It's been almost two hours? I need to run to the bodega to get more beer, but the moment I leave it will arrive. I'm imprisoned in my own private apartment hell
- Disbelief -Zarquon, why hath thou abandoned me?
- Confusion - We did order a pizza, right? I'm not hallucinating after some laced Yerba Mate am I?
- Bargaining - Dear Zarquon, if my pizza arrives, I promise to be a better person and donate half to the poor kids washing car windows at the intersection if it arrives before I perish of starvation!
- Sweet Blessed Relief - the pizza arrives. Somehow still hot, despite being ordered 2.5 hours ago.
- Stupidity - "That wasn't a bad pie!" you think when a couple days later you see a promo for a mid-week deal and are tempted to order again.
So now you're hungry and still wondering what this has to do with Funeralium's latest.
- What the fuck time is it? How long ago did I hit play?
- Disbelief - What the fuck? iTunes says we're still on the second track… how long does it take to play two songs?
- Rage - When does this end? We're still on the 1st disk?
- Entrapment - Oh hell, I've finished my stash of cerveza. But the moment I step out to do a quick B-double-E-double-R-U-N to the nearest bodega the next riff will kick in. I'm entombed in my own private apartment hell.
- Disbelief -Zarquon, why hath thou abandoned me?
- Confusion - I didn't put this on repeat, right? I'm not having a bad trip after some laced Yerba Mate, am I?
- Bargaining - Dear Zarquon, when this sonic punishment finally stops, I promise to be a better person! Really I do.
- Sweet Blessed Relief - Of Throes & Blight sonic ordeal finally concludes. You are able to resume your life. After a not-so-brief recovery period and professional counseling.
- Stupidity - "That was a pretty good disk", you think when scanning your collection and find yourself tempted to press play again.
Sure, while there is much joking and bandying about of words alluding to this album as being a sonic UN human rights violation, as dedicated fans of metal we all know that paradigms are inverted such that, particularly in doom or black metal, bad is good. Misery, pain, woe, dread and soulcrushing paralysis are swell things. Those are endearing terms. Compliments of the highest order.
Which means this album is simply fucking monstrous.
There are no real stand-out tracks, as all are potent and the album, despite length, is best listened to as an immersive whole. So, if you want to check this out, don't make any fucking plans. Keep that day clear on your calendar. It's not a disk I'll play terribly often, but when I do, it will be the whole enchilada.
||Written on 06.03.2017 by BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.|
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