Funeral Doom is one of those sub genres of Metal that I just absolutely love, an area of music that can stir such emotion, and not just in a depressive way either, indeed, despite the often harsh and dark subject matter of many a song in the field, if you persevere, some can even be quite uplifting (honestly!).
Finding and discovering new bands and performers has become a bit of a hobby of mine where Doom is concerned, so hearing about Latitude Egress and the debut offering ‘To Take Up The Cross’, certainly had my antennae twitching. Calling the album a debut though, in some ways is slightly misleading, as main man Niklas (aka Nerrath) has released previous material under the banner of Licht Erlischt, and therefore is well used to producing quality work.
‘To Take Up The Cross’ is a superbly dark affair, displaying more moods and atmosphere than many could hope to achieve, enhanced greatly in my view, with the predominant use of a clean vocal sound as opposed to the perhaps more usual growling and or pained, tortured scream approach. I would pinpoint ’To Cast A Spot Upon The Death Of Your Death’ as a good example of how this angle comes to fruition, delivering as it does, a wealth of feeling and depth without compromising on melody and substance. ’To Reap The Flame With Finger’ is also, in my view, a particularly strong track, a wonderfully slow drum intro paving the way for an incredibly powerful and evocative passage of music that flows and builds with consummate ease, including a guitar solo that stirs the emotions, holding my attention from start to finish.
The albums overall sound is actually quite stripped down, no overly fancy production techniques on show, moreover relying on the abundance of darkness created by the almost organic feel of the playing, heightened by the aforementioned vocal sound. All of which, to my ears, contributes immensely to the achievement of this project, being able as it is, to maintain a sometimes harsh, and yet always melodic slant.
This actually is an album I would definitely recommend to anyone out there who wanted to test the dark waters of Doom Metal before diving in for a swim, as it displays an impressive knack of being able to cross the boundaries. To the purist it may not tick all the required boxes but for me, that is the whole point, as Niklas has succeeded in producing something different within the sometimes constrictive confines of the genre, and more power to him for doing that.
1. To Take Up The Cross When Through It You Can Win A Kingdom
2. To Cast A Spot Upon The Death Of Your Death
3. To Walk At The Hands Of A Dia
4. To Reap The Flame With Finger
5. To Tread On Loose Boardwalks
6. To Restore The Pride To Petravore
7. To March Along The Desolate Path
Released via Art Of Propaganda on October the 27th