Released: 2014, Midnite Collective
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
As the colder weather draws in (here in Britain, at least), the surge of summer trad metal seems a quite ill-fitting soundtrack. Maybe I’m just a misery, but whilst the skies are grey and the winds are battering, I find I am at the pinnacle of my funeral doom enjoyment. I haven’t noticed many funeral doom releases at all this year or maybe I’m just out of the loop, so when Starless Aeon by Funerary landed in my inbox I was rather excited.
The album starts with rumbling bass and distorted guitar, creating an eerie atmosphere which is interrupted by the meaty thud of drums. ‘Meaty’ is the best word to describe this release; it is crushingly heavy without losing all the instruments in a wall of fuzz. The vocals are different to your usual doom croon. Harsh black metal shrieks complete the sound; so harsh that it sounds as if vocalist K.B. is forcing razors from his throat.
Of course, most things that fall into this category require some concentration to avoid them becoming background music on the first listen. If there’s one thing you should pay attention to, it’s the extremely skilful composition. A suffocating, abyssic atmosphere combines with clever layering and the result is a strongly juxtaposed release, beautiful and grotesque in equal parts. Sometimes feeling like it all blends into one can’t be helped, but just persevere because I promise you’ll thank yourself for it.
Maybe not the ideal choice for those who are still desperately clinging onto summer, Starless Aeon is a monolithic funeral doom release and one I’m glad came my way. If you’re after a healthy dose of despondency then this is for you.
Review by Beth Avison