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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!