Funeral - As The Light Does The Shadow review
|Album:||As The Light Does The Shadow|
|Release date:||September 2008|
01. The Will To Die
02. Those Fated To Fall
03. The Strength To End It
04. The Elusive Light
05. In The Fathoms Of Wit And Reason [feat. Robert Lowe]
06. Towards The End
07. Let Us Die Alone
08. The Absence Of Heaven
10. Fallen One
There are few bands around as truly bleak as Funeral and although many others may try their hand at doom metal, too often it sounds too much like doom for doom's sake. This is not the case with this band. In their early material they helped define the Funeral Doom genre, which retained many of the trademarks of extreme metal. They subjected us to some of the most painful vocals, slow gloomy riffs and life-weary songs, which seemed to drag on endlessly, but in this offering they provide a far more calculated, sober and mature account of themselves than before and yet it is as dark and bleak as anything preceding it.
Firstly, this album has the ability to suck you in. From the very first riff it takes you into this calm, isolated existence where the immediate reality seems to fade into a distant and morose concept. The vocals consistency in general tone lends them to furthering the feeling of uniformed indifference to the world around. This is by no means to say that the vocals throughout the album are not diverse as indeed they are, within the scope of the music. There are some very dramatic and beautiful vocal harmonies on this album with the highlight being the final track "Fallen One". It must be said however, that Rob Lowe (of Solitude Aeturnus and Candlemass) taking lead vocals on "The Fathoms of Wit and Reason" in the middle of the album is a great touch and keeps the album sounding fresh from beginning to end.
This album manages not to fall into the trap of meaningless meandering, as Doom Metal so often does, and each song is a construct of its own which flows nicely between specific musical sections. Whether the riffs are abrasive or melodious the sombre vision within the music never falters. There are often keys or string sections added to the mix but they are never allowed to the fore unless the song absolutely demands it. This goes along way in increasing the atmosphere of the album.
The band states in their preface for this album that "…the following lyrics represent fragments of an underlying philosophical concept. The concept expresses concern on behalf of humanity…" and they also go on to express and indebtedness to the German philosophers Leibniz, Nietzsche and Heidegger. The lyrics tackle society as we know it at its core and the fundamental problems faced by both the individual and mankind as a whole. If you look deeply enough these lyrics will reveal themselves to you in amazing ways (even if the English usage leaves a little to be desired).
One could go on about an endless number of aspects of Funeral and this album, but in simple terms: this is Doom Metal at its finest and should not be missed by anyone who appreciates the alternative perspective of reality.
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