Rating:
8.5
Fungoid Stream - Oceanus
15 March 2010


01. Star-Winds
02. Antarktos
03. The Gardens Of Yin
04. Interlude: The Pnakotic Manuscripts
05. Night-Gaunts
06. Oceanus
07. Nemesis


Ok, Fungoid Stream are weird. Bizarre. Odd. Then again, I guess the fact that they are a funeral doom band, yet adopted the name Fungoid Stream and opted to eschew headstones, cemeteries, or other dark images and instead put a starfish on the cover of their latest should have been a clue. A big clue.

Oceanus is what would happen if you gobbled fistfuls of mushrooms (the psychedelic kind, not the shiitake kind), smoked some hippie lettuce, and tried to compose a funeral doom album from the couch while simultaneously watching The Discovery Channel's "Planet Earth" in 1080 Hi-Def.

While a funeral doom band, there are significant times where this release wanders fully into ambient territory. And not the Nortt "dark fog spreading over a graveyard at midnight" kind. The "playing in the background of that new age store that sells crystals to neo-hippies" kind. The first full minute and a half of "Antarkos" consist of a slow, semi-hypnotic bassline being played to accompany the sounds of birds chirping and a slight rain... The same song trails out with a somewhat hypnotic bassline and a choral voice. The follow-up track, "The Gardens Of Yin" enters with 90 seconds of swirling wind noises and keyboards before the bass and creepy spoken voice enter the serene piece.

The midpoint of the album, an intermission if you will, lies "Interlude: The Pnakotic Manuscripts" is a two and a half minute trip featuring a calming keyboard orchestra piece playing around a whale song. Yes. A whale song. And people 'round these parts get their spiked panties in a bunch when a musician is daring and original enough to incorporate brass or a woodwind into their work. The Argentinian duo have found a way to introduce a whale song into their album. And have done so without breaking concept.

(I firmly believe that "Planet Earth", on beautiful hi-def, with the dulcet tones of Sigourney Weaver and soft ambient music along with the sounds of nature was designed for burners to get high and stare at for hours on end. I imagine you can see, at this point, where I drew the correlation from)

The remainder continues along as the first half has done, largely ambient bits and pieces (included whispered call-and-response vocals from a child and adult that sound like someone leading someone in prayer) and some slow, doomed out riffs... well, they aren't really riffs so much as hammering a note and letting it resonate.

This album is truly odd. It's perhaps far more ambient than doom, with plenty of things you would not expect to find in a doom album to keep you off balance and reeling. I've found it a great album to put on late at night when I'm starting to fade towards unconsciousness. It's a trippy listen for the adventurous listener.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 9
Production: 8


Band profile: Fungoid Stream
Album: Oceanus


 



Written on 23.06.2010 by
BitterCOld
BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.
More reviews by BitterCOld ››



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annodomini - 24.06.2010 at 09:51  
Metal Archives had announced this few years ago, but years went by, and it was postponing and postponing. At last it is here. I'm going to listen to it, cause from the review, it seems that it was worth waiting.
Marcel Hubregtse - 24.06.2010 at 10:21  
Somehow I never liked Fungoid Stream before but they totally clicked with this album.
I especially love the whale song which is actually quite creepy. The entire album has this suffocating underwater feel to it. As if you're trapped at the bottom of the ocean.
Darkside Momo - 24.06.2010 at 14:35  
Think I'll give this one a try!
!J.O.O.E.! - 24.06.2010 at 19:03  
I wasn't that impressed by the first album but I'll still give this a whirl.
Collin - 25.06.2010 at 11:54  
Creepy ambient and atmospheric stuff, I like that! Marcel is right, this album sounds really claustrophobic.

Thanks for the review, I had never tried this band before
BitterCOld - 25.06.2010 at 18:25  
Written by Collin on 25.06.2010 at 11:54

Creepy ambient and atmospheric stuff, I like that! Marcel is right, this album sounds really claustrophobic.

Thanks for the review, I had never tried this band before


amusingly i wouldn't have got it with Marcel. was placing an order from Psychedoomelic and rather than get three albums i had already heard and knew i wanted i opted for two (Profetus and an older Process of Guilt disk) and asked Marcel to toss a few suggestions of shit i'd never heard my way. the short description of FS intrigued me, so i pulled the trigger.

glad i did.
Ag Fox - 13.11.2010 at 01:13  
This is such a grower! great review
Monolithic - 24.11.2012 at 07:50  
It was quite a while ago when I discovered this album and gave it try. I wasn't into Funeral Doom Metal at all but the resonating, creepy underwater sound was something I had never heard of, and to this day, it remains as the most bizarre piece of work I've ever heard of. But at the same time, it's quite an amazing album.

Thanks for the review.

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