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Funeral doom is a genre that is generally filled with sounds of despair, depressive imagery, pain, and solitude. People coming into this album expecting that in heavy doses may be slightly disappointed. I, on the other hand was happily surprised and impressed with this release and I sat captivated by every keyboard laced and epic song the album had to offer. This is an album that must be experienced with no distractions, and must be experienced with an open mind for long term listeners of the funeral doom genre.
Shadows Over The Cosmos managed to immerse me in a tranquil and relaxing listening experience. Though the genre's notorious bleakness perpetrated by the cover artwork does begin to show a little more prominently near the end of the album, it does not bring down anything put forth or evoked in the previous tracks. The album flows very nicely and if you are in the mood for this kind of music it doesn't wear out its welcome.
The production is excellent, and a step above Megaliths Of The Abyss. The keyboards are, for me, the highlight of this album. I've heard them described as majestic on this album and I have to say that I agree wholeheartedly. They are really what make this album standout. The melodies created may often give you chills and bring you into the music even more. This is a musical journey worth taking.
This is not the most original album, and definitely not a genre changer, but everything is executed so well that it is, for me, a very worthwhile listen. People who have trouble with repetition and simplicity may be turned off by this album, but chances are that if you are turned off by those things in the first place you are not a huge fan of funeral doom.
Overall I highly recommend this album as it is an atmospheric, epic, and tranquil listen that is not worth missing out on.
Seeing these sort of albums being released in abundance in funeral doom scene, it is very heartbraking to say that the people who listen to this stuff don't set any standarts. Very weird that this album is being prasied in various forums as best funeral doom album of 2010 - it is actually a massive piece of shit.
This is very easily digestible and frightfully simplistic boring funeral doom. Songs are too repetitive and there are long and repetitive choruses, some riffs last 10 minutes long. This isn't a big deal in bands such as Tyranny which have great ambient feeling, but this album doesn't have anything related to atmosphere. Actually riffs are good, they have a cosmic and esoteric feeling, but the album is very infertile. It could be said that this is only one song prolonged to a full-length.
It is funny actually, in a sense, that you have a single mini-CD in your hand that could be spinned countless times in your music player, yet there is only one song in it, you can play it over and over and somehow get the feeling that you are listening to a full-length album.
Since hopefully there are good funeral doom bands such as Evoken, Mournful Congregation, Esoteric, Funeral, Skepticism, Pantheist etc, some people still can tell the difference between what is good and what is fraudulence. Avoid like plague.
Recently I was in the mood for some illegal duplication, so I hit up a rather cool blog and just mediafire'd everything on it that had a cool name. The whole "symphonic funeral doom" had me sort of worried; but gold can be found in the weirdest of places, you know?
"Label: Solitude Productions".
I don't know if there's an equivalent in other metal sub-subgenres, but Solitude are the sort of label that will release pretty much anything as long as it's played in time (but not in tune; see: Somnolent), is of an appropriately funereal tempo, and that has really boring leads that repeat for ages and ages and ages and ages. If it's stereotypical -and most importantly, bad- funeral doom then these fuckers are onto it. Their thoroughly non-judgemental approach to funeral doom has made them probably the most prolific label in the genre, and definitely the main reason why this genre gets (deservedly) shat on so much. Heaven help us all if Solitude ever decide to branch out to depressive black metal.
So yeah, this is a typical Solitude release, of typical Solitude quality. The synths are really loud, the drums plod along in that quarter time, solitude-approved(TM) drum beat, and these really boring leads repeat over and over again. Admittedly, some of these guitar lines aren't too bad; "The Primordial Gloom" has a rather good thing going; where the synths and rhythm guitars lock in under a pretty cool guitar line. Unfortunately, the lead gets repeated to the point where things become unbearably boring.
At the end of the day I think that's the main problem here. Most of the leads themselves aren't too bad; they've got that spacey, ethereal and mournful quality that I guess most funeral doom bands go for. It's just that they're stretched out for an unnecessarily long amount of time. Sure, there's nothing inherently wrong with super long songs, but there must be some progression, there must be something to keep the listeners interested. Here their isn't, it's that simple. Not enough dynamic variation, not enough different parts, basically the band lacks the skills to pull such ambitious "epics" off.
This album isn't horrible, mind. "Boring" isn't a capital sin- one could almost say it's a hallmark of the genre! But yeah, it's certainly rather boring and could've definitely used some editing- perhaps some feedback from the label?- before being released. Mediocre in the extreme, but considering the usual quality from the idiots at Solitude Productions, it's probably one of the best bands on the label.* You don't need this.
*Credit where credit is due though- this label did a Thergothon tribute and it was utterly fantastic, with great packaging and surprisingly non-boring covers. Buy that, and ignore the rest!