Funeral
Praesentialis in Aeternum


4.0
excellent

Review

by Robert Garland STAFF
December 12th, 2021 | 12 replies


Release Date: 12/10/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The lords of melodic oppression return to say farewell.

Praesentialis in Aeternum isn’t the end for Norwegian stalwarts, Funeral. Since pioneering the funeral doom soundscapes in Norway in the early nineties (eventually culminating in the band’s first EP and the following debut, Tragedies) the band has long moved on from their roots, eventually providing the cornerstone to a more melodic aesthetic in recent times. I say “recent times” loosely; a given since the group’s last effort was almost nine years ago, lying dormant under the weight of Funeral’s more recent lineup changes. Given the time between drinks one could perhaps forgive Funeral for taking a different trajectory to Oratorium and its lofty, orchestral focus and scintillating atmospheres. Instead, Praesentialis in Aeternum largely picks up where its predecessor left off (with better artwork thankfully), dismissive of the nine year gap and ready to dismiss meandering rumbles of underwhelming doom metal.

But Funeral themselves have never really been subject to such criticism. At their worst, they’re simply considered “good’, going through the motions of what “could be”. Introspective wanderings that reach a potential higher ground; letting the band down under their weight of expectation (As The Light Does The Shadow and To Mourn Is A Virtue perhaps) while they rejig and conform to what their particular brand of funeral doom metal should be. It’s a thought without substance, and a lone reviewer sitting here absorbed in new music struggles to forget the Evoken’s and Shape Of Despair records that are featured so heavily in one’s musical circulation. Funeral may be present among a crowd of essential listening, but in regards to quality compared with the work of the band’s more storied peers, Oratorium and From These Wounds become less prevalent—but I digress. That’s not the reason we’re here.

Or is it?

I mean when we take things into perspective I can’t help but rank Funeral’s newest doom dirge amongst the visionary acts I’ve listed above. Maybe I have a weakness for strong melody and ringing chords but Praesentialis in Aeternum goes much deeper than that. As such, I welcome Praesentialis in Aeternum’s majestic tracks to a considerably long list of doom classics. That sounds hyperbolic doesn’t it? It might be slightly. For if I was to address the record’s shortcomings I wouldn’t (thankfully) take too long. There is a slight repetition of ideas here that take too long to eke out the album’s larger moods. While the record itself teeters on the edge of an hour’s run-time (an hour and a half if you include the bonus material), Praesentialis in Aeternum becomes too massive for its own good, particularly in favor of “Erindring II – Fall’s” near eleven minute run-time. While “Erindring I - Hovmod” is a master class in building melodies that shape moods, the latter simply carries on too long, somewhat tedious in its delivery. Thankfully “Oppvåkning” restores Praesentialis in Aeternum’s oppressive balance with both ebb and flow. All is well.

Circling back it’s not hard to like “Ånd’s” slow progression into cinematic atmospheres. Orchestral moods come mandatory within the track’s framework and yet there’s a wholesome back and forth between vocalist Sindre Nedlund and his brother, Lars (of Borknagar and Solefald fame) that offers a dichotomy between both gruff and higher, more melodious measures, deathly growls and all. Even the band’s longest standing (founder really) and drummer, Anders Eek continues to rain down supreme percussive sections with crisp and powerful strokes. Not only does this maintain the band’s larger doom feel, but it also reaffirms the album’s larger level of consistency—for better (and as read above, worse). As such, the album’s drum sound is massive and a real selling point for the record as a whole while riffs and leads dance ceremoniously from one spot to the next.

“Dvelen” is where Funeral’s newest album really comes together. While the track itself lacks the immediacy of the tracks before it, the eleven minute dirge pushes at the boundless atmospheres that can only be found in the funeral doom metal genre. “Dvelen” itself sounds ‘loose’ and explorative, making use of its eleven minute(plus) run-time while conforming to bringing together the atmospheres and moods that came before it. Praesentialis in Aeternum pushes forwards, even at its end—reaffirming the band’s position among the top of the genre’s heavyweights.

As much as I want to heap praise on these Norwegian doom masters for doing what they do, I do have to question the December release date of Praesentialis in Aeternum. Had this been released earlier in the year (the band/label citing the usual covid disclaimer) it may have seen some room for growth before those with like minds consume the next wave of releases. Is Praesentialis in Aeternum a great record? Does it rank among the best the band has offered throughout their career? The answer is a resounding yes, but due to the album’s overall lateness I can’t help but feel like some may miss out on the action this year. Praesentialis in Aeternum isn’t the end, it’s just another chapter, another page. Eternally.




Recent reviews by this author
Pensees Nocturnes Douce FangeMizmor Wit's End
OAR The Blood You CraveHadal Maw Oblique Order
Phrenelith ChimaeraNoise Trail Immersion Curia
user ratings (18)
3.7
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
December 12th 2021


16179 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Funeral's new album, released by Season of Mist: https://funeraldoom.bandcamp.com/



Some December doom for the folks at home.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
December 12th 2021


12376 Comments


Tragedies is great and this one is pretty good as well. Actually, I gave it a quick listen the other day just because of the cover art, without having in mind that this is the same band that released Tragedies haha.

Great write up as always too.

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
December 12th 2021


16179 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for taking the time Manosg dear. Hopefully this sees a few more ratings before the year's out.

autoNamed
December 12th 2021


174 Comments


Very nice, been waiting for this

Black
December 13th 2021


19 Comments


I really enjoyed this!

Funeralopolis
December 13th 2021


14586 Comments


Sweet band name m/

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
December 13th 2021


16179 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The colour palette of the features section does really aesthetic right now.

Pikazilla
December 14th 2021


20630 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Vox are excessively overdramatic at points which lessens my enjoyment of this

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
December 14th 2021


16179 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I like the drama. It is funeral meets melodic doom; it seems to go hand in hand.

DarkNoctus
December 15th 2021


11791 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

tbh the in vain vocalist being at the front of this album makes sense - it feels like an in vain album slowed the fuck down at points.

sometimes
December 19th 2021


285 Comments


how have i never heard of these guys. i will need to discog listen soon, ty for bringing them to my attention

Azog
December 20th 2021


683 Comments


The sugar coating is way too thick for my taste. Foreboding and crushingly heavy, is how I like my funeral doom.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy