Artist: Funeral Chasm
Album: Omniversal Existence
Label: Aesthetic Death
Release Date: 02/07/2021
Written by AP Raven
Funeral doom can be a tricky genre. The spacious quality of the music seems ripe for exploring melodies, but the rigidity of the genre’s rules, more often than not, results in a great deal of sameness across the Funeral Doom spectrum.
“Omiversal Existence” by Denmark’s FUNERAL CHASM is a treat in that it straddles the line between straightforward genre worship and experimental innovation. Unlike your typical Funeral doom album, the songs on this one keep closer to six or seven minutes long, rather than twelve or thirteen. With this tightening of the screws comes a very refined sensibility, a precision and mastery that is too often absent from even some of our favorite Funeral doom albums.
“Embellishment of Inception” kicks the record off with a classic, 8-minute-something slab of familiarly mournful riffing and reverb-soaked vocals, which float seamlessly between sepulchral death growls and demented gregorian chanting. “The Truth That Never Was” carries this momentum with all the weight of an undead monstrosity, lurching forth from the abyss.
“Mesmerizing Clarity” highlights the more gothic, and perhaps most impressive, aspect of this band. The opening synths are lush and inviting, while the riff carries an almost Cure-like sensibility. From Gloom and melodious melancholy they effortlessly collapse into catastrophic heaviness, and the soul is pummeled further into the void.
“Extracting the Flesh from the Gods” surges in like a tidal wave of darkness, ready to wash away any pretty feelings you might have left over after the previous track.
“Sunrise Vertigo” might be the most “Omiversal” of all the songs on this album, existing somehow simultaneously in the center of Funeral doom, Black metal, gothic/post-punk and psychedelia.
“The Skeleton Secret” rings of classic Tiamat, until it gets heavy and reminds you that you are most certainly listening to a Funeral Doom record. The slowness never gets old or feels repetitive, but the pace is unmistakably funerary. With each listen I discover new pockets of creativity in each song I was too overwhelmed to process before.
“Astral Reality” moves us in a more Cosmic, almost cascadian black metal direction, with riffs that would be right at home in a Wolves in the Throne Room song. More echoey chanting, and the song takes an almost psychedelic route as it pummels your spirit ever deeper into the murky depths.
“Through the Eyes of the Joyless” opens with more chanting, before sending the listener adrift on their tiny audio raft in a sea of endless grief and misery. Truly a blissful treat for the damned souls among us.
Favorite tracks: Mesmerizing Clarity, The Skeleton Secret, Sunrise Vertigo.
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