Review Summary: I'd play this on my wedding though.
Every twelve moons or so, there's a band or an album whose music urges me to write in a way that feels less cerebral and more… visceral. In the case of Fvnerals, I’ve felt like pouring a bucket of black ink over my PC screen, letting it dry for a year, setting the machine on fire and then spreading the ashes all over my face whilst licking the ceiling. That's what this album has done to me in only two days.
Fvnerals is a duo originally from Brighton (UK), although they have been moving with the winds around Europe since their inception in 2014, all the while recording music and touring the old continent, a couple of times as the opening act for one of my favorite singer songwriters of all time: Mrs. Emma Ruth Rundle. Nesting now in Germany since pandemic times, Tiffany Ström (vocals/bass) and Syd Scarlet (guitars/maelstrom) are back with their third full length, once again through legendary German label Prophecy Productions, which not only released my AOTY last year in the shape of Darkher's The Buried Storm
, but also home of such emblematic artists like Agalloch, Empyrium or Alcest, just to name a few.
Now that we are in context, it's time to face the void ahead of us. Allow me to say that this album is not for the faint of heart… Actually, you know what? Maybe it's quite the opposite. Let The Earth Be Silent
is a slab of drone and doom that combines the perpetual density of Sunn O))) with the captivating beauty of Dead Can Dance, so the concept of “quick listening” withers and dies here like a tulip blooming in tar and cement. The sense of drowning in a mire of imposing distortion, gnawing strings and synth walls of death is only matched by the duo’s ability to create aural landscapes that evoke a reality I surely hope I’ll never have to witness. The songs are shapeless, unforgiving, where the only element that will keep you afloat as you traverse the chasm is the cold and ethereal touch of Tiffany's voice.
With one eye set on doomgaze ala King Woman and the other blinking to the mortuary beat of an agonizing behemoth, Fvnerals have evolved the (by comparison) soothing sound of their 2014 debut The Light
into a whole new world of pain and sadness. The pensive and anguished character of that album presented Fvnerals as what I defined at the time as “the funeral doom version of Daughter”. Six years ago, the band released Wounds
, their sophomore release. It was a record that already showed that Tiffany and Syd were eager to summon a more stout and acrimonious sound for Fvnerals, keeping Tiffany's gloomy vocals on the forefront and using Syd's post rock arrangements to give the band an extra layer of heaviness.
Let The Earth Be Silent
is a profound enhancement of all that was before, which considering the themes that the duo have chosen for this new album, I’m surprised that they didn’t end up resorting to growls, tremolos and blast beats. Fvnerals’ third release is an album inspired by the ruin and extinction that we, humankind, bring to all life on Earth. The despair caused by the impotence to avoid it is the fuel that moves Fvneral's music like the ghost of a dead world screaming into a black hole. Sometimes they sound like a forlorn ritual, sometimes like a planet imploding, but the ravaging splendor of their music is what makes Let The Earth Be Silent
impossibly alluring. Don’t wait for the chorus though, your flesh and bones will feed the worms and seed the soil while you wait for all eternity.