Skepticism
Stormcrowfleet


4.0
excellent

Review

by Spaten USER (7 Reviews)
January 5th, 2017 | 33 replies


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Ambient Metal from Finland

The Finnish band Skepticism, pioneers of what is typically referred to as Funeral Doom, released their debut Stormcrowfleet in 1995. With Death and Black Metal being beyond their creative apex at the time, Skepticism opt for new terrain, creating an album that does not quite sound like any metal that went before it.

Despite the genre classification, the music on this album bears little resemblance to Doom Metal like Candlemass. Neither does it have a whole lot of similarities to typical Death/Doom hybrid bands with the only parallel being a focus on slow tempo. Where Candlemass essentially just made slow Heavy Metal and Death/Doom hypbrids took the typical fast pace out of what was otherwise still riff-driven Death Metal in its basic nature, Skepticism create a sound that is more akin to the ambient Black Metal style that emerged toward the end of the second wave in Norway, consisting of albums such as Hvis lyset tar oss, Vikingligr Veldi and Filosofem. Skepticism make heavy use of keyboards, repitition and lengthy songs in a fashion similar to the aforementioned albums with an unusually linear approach in song writing. A song passage that has once drawn to a close is unlikely to be repeated in an unaltered way at another point in the song. Sometimes, however, musical references occur across songs, as is the case in the first two tracks, where the prominent keyboard line from 'Sign of a Storm' is paraphrased in the second song 'Pouring'. As a result of this approach the songs do not retain strong individual identities but instead, a sense of coherence for the album in its entirety is preserved.

Guitars and keyboards are more or less on equal footing as leading instruments of the music, sometimes playing alone, sometimes in conjunction, with one providing a back ground for the other to develop an extended melody on top or both playing individual melodies slowly creeping in opposite directions. Occasionally one of the instruments will suprisingly break through the ambience to guide the song into different territory, infusing it with new power and determination. At other times a violent storm is unleashed after a long period of unsettling silence. Drumming lends support with simple beats or just individual tom or cymbal hits. The growls narrate the lyrics in a manner that is in accordance with the ponderous nature of the rest of the music, offering little in the way of rhythmic excitement but adding to the overall ambience that is being generated by the leading instruments. In doing this, vocalist Matti Tilaeus sounds like a dying god casting his wrath from the skies onto a world that has forsaken him.

As such, Stormcrowfleet embodies the sound of departure, evanescence and mortality. It exemplifies the divide between aeons while showing glimpses of almost forgotten memories and hope in a sea of endless, overpowering riffs that, slowly but inevitably, crawl towards an uncertain future, beyond anyone's power to change course.



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user ratings (111)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Spaten
January 4th 2017


174 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

figured this could eventually use a review

AnimalsAsSummit
January 5th 2017


2565 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

wonderful to see this reviewed. an atmospheric achievement in metal.

Digging: Pure (OH) - Coming Back Together

Alastor
January 5th 2017


1662 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

classic album

Digging: The Ruins Of Beverast - Exuvia

Spacesh1p
January 5th 2017


6522 Comments


How did this not have a review?

Digging: Autechre - Untilted

Spaten
January 5th 2017


174 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah surprised this was still up for grabs. was about time though

Maco097
January 5th 2017


2248 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Not their best

Spacesh1p
January 5th 2017


6522 Comments


I think it had one if I remember correctly, but it must have been deleted.

Alastor
January 6th 2017


1662 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

if I think fo Funeral Doom, the riff from Sign of a Storms comes to my mind immediately.

necropig
January 6th 2017


2524 Comments


Nice, skept are good stuff

Digging: Ripping Corpse - Dreaming With the Dead

Timezown2
January 25th 2017


17 Comments


I only discovered funeral doom recently and I've gotta say this is skyrocketing up to one of my favorite albums of all time

I'm mostly a black metal listener - preferring atmospheric/ambient/depressive varieties - so when I heard about funeral doom being very slow, all about atmosphere, and kinda repetitive I thought it might be right up my alley. Boy I was right!

I was instantly grabbed the very first time I played Sign of a Storm.

I've got their whole discography now, I love Thergothon's one album too. What are some other funeral doom albums like these? Ive noticed the lower fidelity production definitely is a HUGE part of why I love this stuff. Ive been asking around recently and whenever people rec me stuff its mostly very clean sounding which i'm not a huge fan of.

Alastor
January 26th 2017


1662 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I get you. I've also been searching for bands that take the lo-fi approach to funeral doom, but haven't found anything quite as good as this.

Evoken - Embrace the Emptiness is an album that comes close. Most of their stuff is cleaner than his though.

There are also some truly great doom/black hybrid albums, that you might enjoy:

The Ruins of Beverast - Rain upon the Impure

Elysian Blaze - Blood Geometry



Timezown2
February 1st 2017


17 Comments


I'll check out Evoken, thanks.

I'm a huge fan of the Ruins of Beverast already! Also I've heard of Elysian Blaze before but never game them a listen. Ill add that to my list too.

Spacesh1p
February 21st 2017


6522 Comments


Great album. Really been enjoying it lately.

Spacesh1p
February 22nd 2017


6522 Comments


Thread is too dead, this album is amazing.

Maco097
February 22nd 2017


2248 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

8/10

Dinosaur
February 22nd 2017


708 Comments


I spent quite a time listening to Alloy in highschool. perhaps due to a rasputin review. Been checking this recently.

Digging: Farsot - Fail?Lure

Spaten
February 23rd 2017


174 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this definitely got better for me over time. didnt know what to make of it after the first listen

Spacesh1p
February 23rd 2017


6522 Comments


Yeah I spun this probably 8 or 9 times before I really understood why it's great. It's really soothing to me. I don't get quite the same depressed vibe from it that is often mentioned.

GhandhiLion
February 27th 2017


601 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Make sure to check out Thergothen and Ras Algethi if you like this.

Digging: Vampire Rodents - Lullaby Land

Spacesh1p
February 27th 2017


6522 Comments


I've checked Thergothen but not Ras Algethi so will do that.



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