Archive for December, 2010

Lurker: 2010 in Funeral Doom

Posted on Monday, December 20th, 2010

Two years ago, it looked as if funeral doom was going to be the new DSBM. In the early noughties, with the arrival of cheap and easy home recording software, solitary dudes around the world had begun to ape and (very occasionally) trump the big names in both of these much-maligned genres. Correspondingly, over the last decade the number of funeral doom releases rose steadily from just 11 in 2000 until peaking in 2009 with 109 (thanks, Metal Archives!). But now the boom is over: with only 86 new releases this year, could it be that the hordes of bedroom-bound projects have started to face up to their own mediocrity and pack it all in?

In the world of Black Metal, there’s no hope of checking out everything that gets a release. For 2010, Metal Archives lists 1260 new albums alone, and that’s not counting demos, EPs and splits. But the braver fans of funeral doom can still wade their way through the morass of new material without quite going insane. I’m still wading, but the search has turned up a few unlikely gems. Here are my pickings for the most interesting bits of funeral doom this year. Most of it’s coming out of the left field; if you want well-produced traditionalist stuff, go and listen to The Howling Void.

1. SpüolusBeyond the Event Horizon (Kunsthauch)

Cosmic blackened funeral doom! Try to imagine a collaboration between Nortt and Kataxu and you’ve got Hungary’s mighty Spüolus. The four long songs crawl along at funereal pace, shifting between haunting, colossal melody and dark discord. Anyone who needs reminding of their utter irrelevance in an inconceivably large universe need look no further. The four tracks capture a sense of the expansiveness of the cosmos, while still packing in a huge amount of painstaking detail. If you’ve been put off funeral doom by its often minimalist approach, then Spüolus may just give you a run for your money.

Closer ‘Arcane Annihilation’ may be a step too strange for my tastes, coming across as a deranged, Thorns-esque ambient piece, plastered in insane, heavily-doctored vocals. The rest of the record, though, is utterly sublime. Don’t miss out.

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