Label: Non Serviam Records
Ennui is a French word, fallen out of use to an extent, that means a feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction, which well captivates the work by this Georgian duo. With ‘End of Circle’, they’ve outdone themselves on the magnitude of work and force and therefore the work may be a bit much to chew up for most listeners. But those who delve into it will find sheer majesty.
Funeral doom is a difficult genre to be prolific in, but Ennui has been quite productive since 2012, releasing 4 full-length records and two splits. Serj Shengela who provides guitars and keys is also active in Angel of Disease, Signs and No Regrets. David Unsaved, drummer and singer, also plays in Necropoli and his solo outlet Unsaved.
The first thing that has to be mentioned is the sheer immensity of ‘End of Circle’. The opening track (and title track) clocks in at over 30 minutes of shimmering, dirge-like doom metal. A slow procession towards the underworld it seems, with the guitars just clambering up the heavens. It’s the feeling of being in a pit of sand where the walls keep crumbling as despair sets in. The keys are ever present, providing dungeon synthy intermezzos, further enriching the mournful sound of the band.
The vocals are minimal, but when David Unsaved screeches defiance at the heavens, it is something else. At times, the sonorous sounds of the tracks remind me a little of that Victorian darkness My Dying Bride Brings, but it’s sombre procession remains too level. The synths are often mesmerizing, like the use in atmospheric black metal. Another point of enjoyment as the guttural vocals grate low and dry. The tunes ‘The Whithering part I & II’ both sound like a lamenting dirge, crawling towards their end for a good fourty minutes of sheer force and magnitude.
A spectacular record and effort by the Georgian duo.
Label: Bloodcrown Records
Band: Noctu/Augu Sigyn
This split features two doomy bands, the first being Noctu from Italy. Noctu happens to be the sole member and also plays in Atra Mors and Necromist. After a full length, this is the first record with an English title by the funeral doom project from Crema.
The slow, dirge-like doom by the Italian artist has a certain cinematic quality and minimalism to it. Only lurching forward with an ever lumbering pace, the vocals are muddled into the mix where they hardly seem to really convey any meaning anymore. On ‘Lacerazioni Tra Le Ombre’, they merely appear as abyssal murmurings, rumbling in the distant haze of the sound. With a long intro and outro to his part of the record, Noctu demonstrates a knack for dense atmospheres and troubling ambient.
Strangely enough, Auga Sigyn immediately hits you with a sort of crusty doom sound. The Danish act from Svendborg has released some EP’s before, mostly in the native language too and now the duo, also active in Djævles Skrig, Blackhorned, Grimnismál and a gazillion other projects, participates in this split.
Instantly noticeable are the vocals by Sarah Lee Berthelsen, who bars and howls as if possessed on ‘Antropomorfisk Form’. it’s unnerving, resounding clearly over the distorted, warped guitar sound of their primitive pitch-black doom metal. The harrowing sound of the Danish duo is definitely for the sensitive souls, particularly on ‘Den Hængte Mands Bøg’ the sound is quite derailed and maddening even. Rabid barks and an almost ritualistic drumming is accompanied by piping guitar tunes. It helps to bring the record to its creepy ending.
Label: Avantgarde Music
For more than two decades, Nortt has been smothering hopes and sucking the life out of things with all-consuming darkness. The funeral doom the one-man band produces is tinged with black metal grimness, fully overwhelming and absolutely destroying. ‘Endeligt’ is the fourth full length fromt he Danish act.
Nortt has previously played in Apollyon and Strychnos, but works in solitude on his self-titled project. Calling his music ‘pure depressive black funeral doom’ is already pushing it to the darkest corners, but Nortt himself doesn’t see it as trying to inspire any sort of dark behavior. Fair point, there is always a natural beauty in the dark. It’s been 10 years since ‘Galgenfrist’, so this is a good moment for some new grimness.
Eerie drones start forming a gloomy soundscape, when the mournful tones of ‘Andægtigt dødsfald’ crush in, with all their languid majesty. Slow and heavy, they offer that crushing effect, swathing aside any sort of hope and liveliness you may still hold on to. The vocals bubble up from somewhere below the earth, like a grave opening up. On ‘Kisteglad’, the sound almost reduces to an ambient soundscape, with only the sound of winds blowing over a desert plain. As a listener, you feel the sound pressing down upon you as it flows by.
The totality of this record is an overwhelming bath of sorrow, particularly when cold walls of distorted guitar just surge forward. Never really pushing, but looming over you in all their might on ‘Fra hæld til intet’. Nortt’s vocals seem completely out of this earth and being used vary sparsely; they come into major effect during the doomed progressions of might funeral tunes. Melodies are woven in there, sounding fragile but strong, to add even more dramatic overtones to the songs.