Five years after their self-titled debut, FUNERALIUM (from Rouen/Paris -Fr-) are back with this "Deceived Idealism", a very bleak individual work that will surely leave a striking mark in the history of EXTREME DOOM !
This pretty long delay is mostly due to various line-up changes the band has had to go through; indeed, just Marquis (guit/voc) and Berserk (guit) remain from the old line-up, while the band became a quintet with the addition of a 2nd bassist which implies logically that in terms of heaviness FUNERALIUM hammers it in, but the band's sound is also rawer and way more negative in its overall approach (lyrics included).
Consisting in 6 songs for about 1 hour and a half, this new effort marks a neat development in terms of composition and production (thanx to the great work of Chris from Huata -at Worhsip Studio-who's also tipped to work on Barabbas next album!).
Despite what their name could suggest, FUNERALIUM is not your typical FUNERAL Doom band, don't expect here the classic formula with just slow, crawling and muddy guitars playing over extended growls with an occasionnal keyboards atmospheric effect. No, we are treated here with something MUCH MORE frightening, depressing, aggressive and in places atmospheric.
Less pronounced than on 1st album, there's obviously still some elements of FUNERAL Doom but (as in the first album too) not only... If you're looking for references, I think that no actual bands come to mind, then those to point out would be one of the oldest and darkest recesses of the genre with Skepticism.
The early 90's is a period which seems a great source of inspiration for the band (how could we reproach them with such a solid result?), as they willingly also reckon influences in old-school Black Metal, filthy DM and dark-metal (Bethlehem) while classical Doom hints shall not be forgotten too (early Cathedral most essentially, like in the title track and "don't hope for any better things now"). Those guys do not limit themselves to just one style, they value ultimately all the darkest caracters of EXTREME METAL to create a masterpiece in dynamics, ominous flow and filthy power.
If you save both shortest songs, the first "Blood, Phlegm and Vomit" which works like a nice introduction to the tortured world of Funeralium and "Hang these Bastards" which is pretty simple in its structure but still carries its own feeling, this album shows a great talent for slow, long build-ups; songs that progress naturally from extremely slow, heavy and painful climates towards some outstanding anger with harsher riffs, hard hitting drums and scary screams.
Those lengthy songs -clocking twice at more than 20 minutes- contain such a substential amount of creative elements that you constantly jump-out of monotony; it's amazingly rare to feel yourself -from the beginning till the end- so harmoniously bathed in such radical moods.
In the sickest and blackest moments, vocals are so deeply horrifying and tortured that in the spirit this sligthly reminds the glorious old days of northern BM with raw precursors of (genuine ?) tortured screams like Abruptum or Beherit... shit, that rips ! luckily musically the level is far more competitive than those old goodies ;)
This is Extreme that's a fact and sometimes definitely not easy to get into stuff but also not easy to get out of it, being so asphyxiating and relentless at the same time !!!
And what about those slight breathes of Dark Metal that appear here and there with clean guitars plus still dark but almost whispered vocals ? no melodic or too melancholic bullshit at all here, just brief breaking moments that let enter a tiny sliver of light before abyssal and apocalyptic moods strike again...
FUNERALIUM have crafted with "Deceived Idealism" a very accomplished and intricate album with skill but also "stomach"; this should be a building block for a future that they deserve more active and rewarding... If, like me, you've a strong affection for DOOM and the darkest sounds of the early 90's, then you should absolutely experience this awesome album, otherwise be cursed for eternity \m/
The album will be released as 2CDs by the Japanese label WEIRD TRUTH and on vinyl 2LPs on the French label OSTRA RECORDS. A limited "die-hard" version will also be available on Ostra Records exclusively.