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Raw and sinister funeral doom ... - 75%

oneyoudontknow, June 10th, 2021
Written based on this version: 2020, Digital, Independent

No pleasantries here. Most certainly not. Bacterium's Sunt Lacrymae Rerum[1] is a sinister piece of music. Three of the four tracks deliver a rather peculiar and intense kind of raw unpolished funeral doom. One might even go that far and point to drone influences, because the sound of the guitars might indicate such.

Bacterium do not waste much time to get their music started. A short introduction with the keyboards and off it goes into a realm of noisy and weird funeral doom. As can be imagined, a track of a length larger than eleven minutes offers a lot of room for developing the music. While the "first" four minutes are dominated by walls of guitars as well as the raspy vocals, a shift takes place and a keyboard textures is added, while the drums add an odd pattern of two accentuated snare hits with a pause after it. This contrast of psychedelic sounds with intense percussion elements as a counterpoint is strange but also quite cool. After a couple of minutes it all breaks down into several minutes of minimal funeral doom, while towards the end earlier elements appear again in a amalgam of noise and beats. Once this track is over one might be astounded and maybe even slightly bewildered about what has just happened. It is quite a trip to be honest and this is especially due to the percussion elements. The guitars are often more of a wall noise with specks of riff here and there, but it is enough to set the mood and atmosphere.

It continues this way ... well broadly speaking that is. Cavernous keyboards, dominant (hollow) drums, guitars to add weirdness as well as various types of vocals; croaking/growling and murmuring. Though this might sound intriguing, in this second piece the song-writing and the arrangements are not as convincing in the opener. Around the mark of five minutes all breaks down again, shifts again and sounds different again. The percussions take over and the atmosphere takes a turn into a sinister though minimalist realm. This interlude lasts for a couple of minutes, until the earlier motif returns.

Dual Embodiment, the third track, might be described as a take on Burzum's ambient music with some additional vocals. Pointless stuff. Not only in terms of the music but also as a track in between. It is generally puzzling why bands think that this a good idea. The last track follows in line what had been presented earlier with the difference that the vocals point towards bands like Black Bile or Senthil. Those screams of torment add a final strange impression.

This is a fun release. Fun in the sense of having your finger nails ripped out; without anaesthetic of course. Bacterium's funeral doom offers an interesting glimpse on this genre and how extreme music of this type can be. The music touches on psychedelic and drone elements, but these do not feel alien to the overall concept. Raw in essence, the tracks are not of a kind that can or should be described as pleasant. At least this band delivers more than just playing music slowly and throwing some keyboards on top of it.


Notes:
[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lacrimae_rerum
The original has a slightly different spelling, but this change by the band appears to have been intentionally. Wikipedia has the following to say on the subject:
sunt lacrimae rerum et mentem mortalia tangunt
("There are tears for [or 'of'] things and mortal things touch the mind.")