A Pyre Of Lost Dreams
posted on 5/2010 By:
Funeral doom is a genre I’ve slowly been easing myself into over the past few years, and Denmark’s Black Wreath is one of the bands that has left a strong impression on me lately, with good reason. The caliber of the musicians involved is high and quite respectable, featuring Kim Larsen (Saturnus/ Of The Wand & The Moon/ The Loveless), Peter Mesick (Blazing Eternity) and former Whelm bassist David Muller, and the results of their collaboration is effectively laid out over the course of this fifty-minute, regally depressing album.
When viewed in its entirely, A Pyre Of Lost Dreams effortlessly covers all the bases when it comes to genre specifics, with long phases of captivating tedium, an occasional slight increase in tempo that steers into the direction of traditional doom, along with some seriously harsh, deeply roaring vocals. Although heft and volume is definitely a priority throughout these proceedings, this trio has absolutely no problem with infusing plentiful melodies that just enhance the melancholy. Sometimes the folk side comes out in Larson, notably with the searing riffs of opener “The Black Holes Of Your Mind,” but the transition into the slower second half of its 15+ minute running time is smooth as silk when the vibe dips into more solemn, free-floating repetition. From one end to the other, they release wave after wave of soulful, cascading heaviness.
I’ve made it a point to listen to this in a number of different settings in order to inspire words, and removing the genre from the equation, I find this to be an extremely moving work of art, that translates well no matter what I’ve been doing. “Nocturnal Dominion” crawls along with such mournful emotion that almost has a Japanese chime and chant feeling, with the dry, layered vocals really upping the sorrowful vibe. It’s the kind of music that can be appreciated any time, day or night, in absolutely any condition and sound just a little bit different each time. Granted, Black Wreath might not be as eclectic as other acts they’ve been involved in, but they paint their despondent pictures in many different shades that can be applied to different surroundings very well.
It doesn‘t take much to hear the well-aged experience of those who comprise this act. The steady crescendo during “Solitude Rising (Missing All Exits)” is masterfully built, and I especially enjoyed the teeth-grinding guitar work during its last half. They do a great job at composing extremely long songs that have a purpose throughout and don’t really require any sort of editing despite their length. Closing instrumental “Nidstong” is all mood and dreadful atmosphere, and as the shortest track at just a touch under eight minutes, it serves as a very well-executed, breathlessly bleak conclusion that strays far away from hokey melodrama.
While their pedigree speaks for itself, there is already much potential for future greatness, judging by this impressive first round combo. These four sturdily-produced tracks eat up the time and remain interesting at any tempo, melding both grace and grit into one hell of a debut, making me aware of yet another band to keep a watchful ear out for in their future endeavors. A Pyre Of Lost Dreams could be just a hint of what’s to come, so count me in.
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