Revelations of Rain
Emanation Of Hatred
posted on 12/2010 By:
A masked sky. An immeasurably vast landscape. One lone creature soaring above the earth, confused by the encroaching heavens and rumbling chaos from below. Shifting terrain scatters trees, beasts, life. A great spire of rock jets into the air, animates, takes on life, led by the voice of dominion itself. Crags become fingers, clawing at the path of flight. Our hero ascends, the effort needless. Chaos below severs the spire at its foundation, the would-be victim unintentionally saved from order’s demise. Confidence in the voice shifts to rage at its failure. Our creature flies on in suffocating terror despite the freedom it relishes. This is its existence: a ballet of beautiful discord.
Funeral doom is much more than a form of music. It is the story of simultaneously conflicting and harmonizing elements; a slow war of aura. Like much of its ilk, Emanation of Hatred, album number three by Russia’s Revelations of Rain (Otkroveniya Dozhdya in their native tongue) is music that transcends typical analysis and criticism, neither following typical parameters nor necessarily creating its own. It therefore requires a different approach to dissect and describe. On top is either a soaring, methodic and minor-key lead guitar or isolated sparse clean notes, existing within a vast space dominated by crushing rhythm guitars and drums. As that which is below attempts to join that which is above, rhythm and lead temporarily break the mold to become melody and countermelody, only to eventually return to their original state.
Revelations of Rain, like many of their funereal brethren, employs this method to first create an atmosphere. Their sound reaches to the roots of Thergothon by way of Ahab’s melodic layering, resembling a Shape of Despair stripped of their symphonic elements. The mood comes first, a unique voice comes second. On Emanation of Hatred, that means also employing the flowing melodic tendencies of Finnish doom/death or the occasional My Dying Bride-styled riff. Deep death metal vocals are often replaced by a rage-fueled rasp, while keyboards provide an airy backdrop. There may be a higher number of influences than is typical, but nothing, not even the slightly higher tempos or occasional blackened blasting (opener “Time”), can take away from this record’s sense of all things funeral. Mood first, uniqueness second.
Structure third. If there has been one criticism lobbed at funeral doom that could also be placed at Revelations of Rain’s feet, it is that certain bands leave out this third step and get away with it. A few mid-album tracks certainly come close to committing this sin, resembling strewn-together leftovers that the band was not able to shape into a full opus. In fact, nearly half of the album seems more like a novel with a phenomenal setting and only a shallow story arc. But if this fault were in any way critical would I have been inspired to get all faux-poetic on you above, or would that favorable score be written up there? No. The truth is that no one has ever created a mold of funeral doom songwriting, and this remains one of the genre’s most appealing traits.
Despite Emanation of Hatred occasionally drifting away from compositional perfection, Revelations of Rain excels at the most important factors of funeral doom: freeform mood, a sense of claustrophobia despite the existence of immense space, and melodic unease. When they do go the extra mile and compose something truly profound, such as closer “In Expectation of Awakening” or album cornerstone “Antithesis of Life,” it just gets that much better for those of us who dare to fly above these harrowing lands.
Undoubtedly recommended for the funeral faithful, and willfully pitched at melodic doom/death fans as well.
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