Release DetailsLABEL Candlelight
RELEASED ON 1/29/2007
From These Wounds
posted on 6/2007 By:
Dubbed with the title “The Most Depressive Band in the World” during their early years, Norway’s Funeral is largely thought of as one of the founding pioneers of the Funeral Doom sub-genre. Though they hardly sound similar to the band that earned such a title over 15 years ago, there’s no doubting the fact the band can still create and churn out some of the most melancholic and despondent music this set of ears has had the privilege of hearing. From These Wounds fuses together richly thick n’ earth moving riffs backed up by a serenely painted canvas of atmospheric keys, and the ending result these elements ultimately create serves as the perfect backdrop for the painful and agony filled vocal performance that takes center stage throughout most of the eight artery severing cuts on this release.
The chunky and lurching mope of "This Barren Skin" followed by the depressingly dark yet movingly infectious languish of the album’s title track starts the album off in superb fashion. Misery and suffering are the order of the day, and the two openers pretty much pave the way for what’s to be heard from front to back on the recording. "The Architecture of Loss" is a song that on the face of it all seems to reel up a long and steep slope during the crawling verse section, while "Red Moon" sees some sullenly delivered melodic guitar and key work that will have you humming the song long after it comes to a close. Vocally the songs see more of a low end, mono-toneish and always cleanly sung croon, but as low as the singing tends to go for the most part, the multiple – and sometimes harmonized – tracks give the songs a thickly textured coating that makes them sound immensely hefty even though there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of oomph put forth in spewing them the listener’s way.
"Vagrant God" sees some brilliant interplay between a lurching, tower toppling riff peppered ever so lightly with an infectiously melodic overlying lick that speaks of grief in its purest form, and "Pendulum" seethes with a hulking opening riff that pushes slowly along, plowing its way toward the purgatory it lusts for but ultimately never reaches. The underwater delay sound of the cleanly strummed opening to "Saturn" opens up to a more sullenly melodic driven riff that meshes uniquely with the weeping vocals, and bonus track "Breathing Through You" ends the emotionally dark ride by seeping with more anguish and distress than any one person should ever have the displeasure of suffering through in this life we lead. All in all the overall mood is one of despair, hopelessness, and any other number of adjectives that describe the gloom and doom felt by the group. It should be noted that the band had lost former bassist/songwriter Elnar Frederiksen to suicide in 2003, so it’s a no-brainer that the misery felt from that passing helped fuel the writing process for this recording. Furthermore, guitarist Christain Loos passed away after the recording of this album (I couldn't determine the exact cause of death, but I have read that it was possibly another suicide), adding to the despair that just seems to follow the band at every turn.
When all is said and done this is one of the better sounding symphonic, funeral-paced doom albums I’ve heard in quite some time, and any and all fans of the style are encouraged to do the leg work and get your hands on this release. It’s morbid, it’s morose, it’s funereal, it’s Norway's Funeral.
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