Longing For Dawn
One Lonely Path


4.0
excellent

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
June 25th, 2008 | 20 replies | 4,586 views


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Listening to funeral doom is actually not like watching old people fuck.

It hasn’t always been the case, but these days I am able to admit when I am wrong. I say that only because I need to admit that I was wrong again (it happens often). Despite reading great reviews on the funeral doom genre I have always ignored it. My assumption was that any music played that slow for that long had to be like watching old people ***; slow, boring, and ultimately disappointing for all involved. My assumption about old people still holds, but this album has made me rethink my position on funeral doom. This album is slow and totally lacks any dynamic shifts other then “slow” and “almost silent”, but the atmosphere it creates and the way the songs are constructed more then make up for it.

To me, the atmosphere created by this album is almost one of watching your own death in slow motion. A majority of that sinister atmosphere can be credited to the band’s very effective approach to the synths and sound effects. Rarely are the keyboards used to create any real melody or even soothing sounds, instead they are often used in a very ambient and droning style similar to the way Neurosis uses theirs. These sounds are always slowly evolving, changing pitches and adjusting in style just enough to give the songs a sense of movement. Considering the fact that four of these five tracks break the ten minute mark, it allows plenty of time for the synths to develop and morph in a very gradual but effective fashion.

Another reason that the ambient drones are able to create such an oppressive atmosphere is because of the nature of the guitar riffs. The riffs on this album are very simple and are generally delivered in an enveloping blanket of distortion providing the bottom end of the mix (as the bass is virtually non-existent), as well as the base for the vocals and ambient sounds to develop. I’d like to make it clear that despite their slowness and simplicity the guitars still manage to create subtle melancholic moments of their own that serve to accentuate the monotone growls of the vocals and compliment whatever the synths and keyboards are doing at the time. All five songs deliver the above descriptions effectively, but there is something about the atmosphere in the song, “Total Absence of Light”, that just sets it slightly above the rest, and is definitely the track I recommend finding for those that might be interested.

“Total Absence of Light” starts with the prerequisite slow distorted guitar chords that barely move fast enough to be considered part of a riff, and are soon complimented by a synth sound that almost resembles wind blowing through a tunnel; it’s strange but effective. When the deep growls of the vocalist come in a few minutes later, that feeling of watching your own death in slow motion is thoroughly accomplished. Despite the lack of dynamics, the song still manages to go through a few different movements that are basically defined by varying drones, the occasional real piano melody, quick moments of near-silence, and extended guitar passages that all effectively keep it from becoming monotonous and allow it to almost feel like a journey. As I said earlier, it is hard to put a finger on what actually sets this song apart from the rest; as far as I can tell there is just something about the way the sounds and riffs were assembled for this song that makes it more effective despite having basically the same setup as the rest of the songs.

I have to say that my accidental introduction to the funeral doom genre turned out to be a very good experience, but I do want to remind people that this review and its rating is based entirely on zero-experience of the genre as a whole. While listening to this album I think it’s excellent and I think the atmosphere is expertly created, but it could possibly be considered average or even mediocre by more knowledgeable fans of the overall genre, but I doubt it. Despite my ignorance of the genre, I can’t see how a band that effectively crafts 10-plus minute songs that despite their very slow nature still allow you to have a feeling of movement through a very dark and sinister atmosphere could be considered anything other then excellent. If you take a listen to this album you may find, as I did, that listening to funeral doom actually isn’t the same as watching old people ***.



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user ratings (2)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
June 25th 2008



15894 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

So, if anyone who has heard this album knows of anything similar in style (I like the ambient drones a lot) then let me know. I've also heard this band's second album is even better then this one.

Digging: Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse - 20th Year Anniversary

BallsToTheWall
June 25th 2008



44164 Comments


Nice review. Yeah, funeral doom never left a mark on me either except for Shape Of Despair and the new Remembrance album. Not a fan of g-milfs as well.

IAmInsect
June 25th 2008



3800 Comments


what's wrong with getting off to wrinkly bodies flapping against each other

taylormemer
June 25th 2008



4913 Comments


^^
Far too much.

Willie
Moderator
June 25th 2008



15894 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review. Yeah, funeral doom never left a mark on me either except for Shape Of Despair and the new Remembrance album.
I'm pretty positive this is the first funeral doom I've heard so I'll check out the ones you've mentioned
what's wrong with getting off to wrinkly bodies flapping against each other
I've never tried it... maybe it will be a good surprise like this CD was.

Hawks
June 25th 2008



34681 Comments


Im thinking of checking this out. The only funeral doom I've heard is Ahab and I think they're amazing.

Digging: Equilibrium - Erdentempel

Wizard
June 25th 2008



19248 Comments


Listening to funeral doom is actually not like watching old people fuck.

Shit my pants laughing!

Rarely are the keyboards used to create any real melody or even soothing sounds, instead they are often used in a very ambient and droning style similar to the way Neurosis uses theirs. These sounds are always slowly evolving, changing pitches and adjusting in style just enough to give the songs a sense of movement.

BINGO!!!!

This actually sounds like it may be my first real step into doom territory, considering I find alot of doom bands to be ok, I guess hahaha. Plus your descriptions of the droning and ambience in the music sounds like a winner. Nicely written review Willie, despite if you know the genre inside and out or not.

Digging: Nachtmystium - The World We Left Behind

rasputin
June 25th 2008



14520 Comments


Good review Willie. I was actually going to review these guys as I got the album a few weeks ago off a rec from ZooYorker but never got around to it. It's pretty good.

Pebster49
June 25th 2008



2991 Comments


Itunes actually recommended this to me the a few weeks ago. Love all these Doom reviews

rasputin
June 25th 2008



14520 Comments


Haha, I've got a doom review coming soon as well Pebster, stay tuned!

Pebster49
June 25th 2008



2991 Comments


alrighty! Can't wait, DOOM needs its own page...but thats just my opinion.

rasputin
June 25th 2008



14520 Comments


yeah, I've given up pushing for one. I might remind them again after I post another few doom reviews, but I don't think it'll happen.

Pebster49
June 25th 2008



2991 Comments


we should drown them in Doom reviews! Feel the Doom! btw, just bought this on itunes, woot d/l now!

BallsToTheWall
June 25th 2008



44164 Comments


I feel it, another surge of DOOOM reviews, once again. However, I feel that darkwave and gothic should be considered genres, it's ridiculous. Although doom is questionable.

rasputin
June 25th 2008



14520 Comments


Well actually, I think darkwave or gothic would simply come under a blanket doom genre anyway.

BallsToTheWall
June 25th 2008



44164 Comments


Most importantly, above all should be folk metal. Not necessarily viking metal but I really do think that folk metal should be added to the database. I'm pushing for darkwave as well. Gothic I could understand not fitting although it's possible.

And instead of continually spamming this poor review, I checked it out. Funeral...dooom....good. I like it.This Message Edited On 06.25.08

Pebster49
June 26th 2008



2991 Comments


You can't have Viking Metal as a genre because you can't base a genre(sub) on lyrics, which is basically what it is.

Willie
Moderator
June 26th 2008



15894 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

And instead of continually spamming this poor review, I checked it out. Funeral...dooom....good. I like it.
I haven't heard it, but I've read that the new one is even better. Maybe Rasputin can confirm because he listed it as reccomended on his latest review.

rasputin
June 26th 2008



14520 Comments


The new one is good, but I haven't listened to this one enough to compare, only been through this a couple of times.

Wizard
June 26th 2008



19248 Comments


yeah, I've given up pushing for one. I might remind them again after I post another few doom reviews, but I don't think it'll happen.


Most importantly, above all should be folk metal.


My recent discoveries into both sub genres indicates that there really needs to be a seperate section for both. But even mentioning these will set the mods off.



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