Doom is a genre that has always been shamefully overlooked and overshadowed by the more flamboyant and extreme genres of metal. It's hard to notice a few regular-looking dudes playing slowly when you have people in corpse paint or people dancing and singing about Lord of the Rings or people shredding really fast as your other options. Many are more drawn to the more upbeat or theatrical sides of heavy metal music, and that is why doom as a whole is largely left behind by many so-called metalheads. It just seems like such a downer.
Thergothon were the pioneers of something called funeral doom, which is about what it sounds like. If the brand of doom played by Saint Vitus and Pentagram was already too much of a downer for the average metalhead, Thergothon were out to prove that these pussies hadn't seen anything yet. Stream From The Heavens
is one of the gloomiest, most crushing albums ever recorded.
First of all, it is completely inaccessible to those who aren't seasoned fans of extreme metal. Thergothon's music is like if Demilich, Funebre or Convulse found a Saint Vitus album and got extremely depressed and decided to record the results. There are two vocalists - one of them sounding like the belches of the eternally damned, and the other employing a clean voice, yet still eerily depressed and monotone, like a calmly weeping Finnish man. The songs are slower than anything else going on in metal at the time. Even the doom contemporaries of the time like Cathedral and Solitude Aeturnus had more melody and speed than Thergothon, but melody was never Thergothon's purpose. This album is the soundtrack of death - like the slow fading from the conscious world to the afterlife. This truly lives up to its name of "funeral doom" - with songs like "Elemental" and "Who Rides The Astral Wings" it is easy to picture a coffin being lowered into the ground, and dirt being slowly and sadly dumped on it. The subtle keyboards also help to produce this atmospheric effect, never overpowering the riffs or vocals but nearly always in the background helping provide the deathly and eerie atmosphere that this album has.
Stream From The Heavens
is one of the heaviest albums out there. Not heavy in the sense of other extreme metal acts of the time, who largely relied on speed and aggression to communicate heaviness - Thergothon had no need for tricks like that. Metal often tries to hide any emotion other than anger in order to seem "more metal," but Thergothon's music is raw and pure. There is anger, yet there is also a spiritual and somber atmosphere that simply wasn't to be found on any other metal record at the time. These guys were no Cannibal Corpse.