Until Death Overtakes Me - Symphony III - Monolith

01. Thus...
02. Funeral Dance
03. Monolith
04. Soon...

Until Death Overtakes me is one bright example of what i call constructive minimalism! Ultra slow ambient funeral doom that flows in a lethargic and downtrodden way, unfolding in fields of dark serenity! Stijn Van Cauter is the man with the 1000s projects and this time he managed to return with Until Death Overtakes Me and the third sequel of the Symphony series!

"Symphony III: Monolith" consists only of 4 compositions yet it will fill your time with 75 minutes of minimalistic funereal atmosphere. Even the cover prepares the listener of what will follow, it presents a... monolith... lying in midst of utter tranquility, simplistic and meaningful, just like the music. The album opens with an ambiental keyboard-driven cover on Strauss' "Also Sprach Zarathustra", bearing the title "Thus...", and afterwards the ambient funeral doom of Until Death Overtakes Me takes its hold with "Funeral Dance". Isn't it an absolutely appropriate title for such a slow composition? Noisy and heavily distorted guitar riffing breathes slowly at all costs along with some distinctive guitar melodies, that appear after the 9th minute, in the vein of the keyboards, evoking a serene beautifully melancholic atmosphere that steadily becomes more distressing as the song goes on. The vocals are very deep, almost deathlike, grunts at the slow pace of music whereas the percussion is bombastic and funereal. "Funeral Dance" doesn't offer a lot of variety, it flows almost in the same depressing tone, becoming more intense and darker as it flows, lessening the listener's defences. "Monolith" that follows offers a more desolate and terryfying ambiance and surrounds the listener in a devout yet paranoid way! The dirging guitar melodies that appear occasionaly and float in the air like a siren's wail agonise the listener's inner world, whereas the deep grunting vocals, which pace with the ultra heavy distortion of the funereal riffing, adorn the mourning and overburdened atmosphere, along with the keyboard melodies that lead "Monolith" to esoteric completion. The ritual use of the timpani after the 7th minute entrances for a while the atmosphere and then again the funeral takes its toll once again. "Soon..." that ends the 3rd Symphony part is a 30+ minute opus, a funeral epic filled with ultra slow heavily distorted riffing, deep grunting vocals, flowing keyboard melodies (the ending keyboard passage leaves the listener bleeding in solitude, weeping until death overtakes him... marvellous!) and beautifully distressing piano ideas that make their appearance at times, offering all these elements that Until Death Overtakes Me present, emotionally and atmospherically.

"Symphony III: Monolith" and generally Until Death Overtakes Me are not for a newcomer in the scene, they require a trained ear in the ultra slow and funereal soundscapes because they definitely are of the slowest forms of music on earth, by any point of view. Those who are going to purchase this album know who they are, the rest have a long way to go to enjoy this "funeral dance".

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 8

Band profile: Until Death Overtakes Me
Album: Symphony III - Monolith


Written on 18.09.2006 by
"It is myself I have never met, whose face is pasted on the underside of my mind."
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Götter - 19.09.2006 at 17:31  
I think 7.8 is too low a rating for this excellent album. 8.5 would be more appropriate, if not higher. This is UDOM's greatest achievement so far, excluding the awesome cover of "Marche Funébre".
Lucas - 19.09.2006 at 17:49  
The review doesn't seem to match with the rating you gave it.

Anyway, I might buy this as you've made me highly interested.
DerRozzengarten - 19.09.2006 at 17:55  
7.8 is a good mark, the rating is not of high importance to me, it's the words that matter more in order to form a very general opinion on an album, which is actually the personal and subjective opinion of the reviewer, afterwards it's your choice whether you buy it or not I'm glad though you'll try to check it out!
Lucas - 19.09.2006 at 18:01  
Accoring to the rating system of MS, a 7 is 'good' and an 8 is 'very good'.

But what the fuck am I whining about. If you say the words are more important, I will pay attention to the words.
DerRozzengarten - 19.09.2006 at 18:13  
7.8 is almost 8, which means very good If you want i can always make the rating 8 But yeah, the words are more important, at least to me
Bas - 19.09.2006 at 19:39  
even though you said this is only for trained listeners, i think i'll give this a shot anyway

sounds interesting enough in any case
DerRozzengarten - 19.09.2006 at 19:41  
Written by Bas on 19.09.2006 at 19:39

even though you said this is only for trained listeners, i think i'll give this a shot anyway

sounds interesting enough in any case

Mehehe! I can't wait to know your opinion Be patient with "Monolith" though and try not to quit before the 75 minutes are over But yes, it's really interesting
Passenger - 20.09.2006 at 12:47  
That cover seems to be straight out of 2001: A Space Odyssey

Not their best, and this means a lot, because a band like UTDM either does something really interesting, with enough variation, or it's bound to bore you to death. Go pick up the first or Prelude To Monolith before this one.
Damnated - 20.09.2006 at 16:07  
I have to pick up this band again, as I got bored of it, and didn't even listened to this album.

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