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Dreadful - 95%

dommedagssalme, September 29th, 2007

This is the first release I have come across of this now one-man band from Madrid. Cryfemal play a desperate and harrowing brand of black metal. On first listen a similarity to the general "depressive black metal" sound may be apparent, but this simple description doesn't do the album justice.

Perpetua Funebre Gloria (meaning "Perpetual Funeral Glory") is a highly distinctive and obstinate album. The structures and timing patterns are linear and each song contains perhaps 4 or 5 riffs. The guitar tone is very fuzzy, but strangely clear. The guitars largely play tremolo-picked chords and arpeggios, and are exclusively distorted. Bass is present, but is solely used to compliment the guitars. Keyboards are occasionally used (usually on "choir" setting) but are generally secondary to the guitars, and add depth to the music. The drums sound synthetic. The video track included on the CD (which is incidentally dreadful, recorded when the band had a full line-up, and which is taken from the previous album) shows however a real drummer, even though the drums sound artificial here too. Either Ebola is using an electronic kit and is highly accurate or this is programmed. Either way, the drums are generally very fast, occasionally slowing down for more driving sections. The rhythms are basic but highlighted with tasteful fills.

The album has an abyssic feel, and the fact that the guitar riffs are almost exclusively based on descending themes give the feeling of falling into this abyss. There is a sense of inevitability here. The speed of the songs, the discordance of the riffs (which often include clusters of notes only semitones apart) and the distinct absence of reflective/instrumental sections relate the feeling of something unstoppable, or something which cannot be helped. Although what exactly it is hard to say. It doesn't sound like someone wallowing in their own self-pity. The music is dynamic, and seems to be going in a certain direction, propelled by an emotional intensity which lacks the passivity of depression.

The vocals are absolutely crucial in creating this inexorable, desperate album. There are a lot of them, and they concern principally death. They are surely the highlight of the album. They can be vaguely described as wretched screams, although they contain more voice than one would normally hear. They instill a sense of frenzied urgency, in the face of something abominable. This has the effect of intensifying the music, and the vocals don't sound otherworldly, or inhuman. On the contrary, the listener is acutely aware that a human is expressing something authentic and undeniable. Ebola sounds totally unhinged, and the emotion which flows from him, unhindered, lies somewhere between utter despondency and intense fear, all expressed with great hysteria. It's as if he is aware of something which lies ahead, almost certainly death (as something both optional and inevitable), but is helpless. It would end his suffering, but death itself is something frightful, not merely an "answer". This would accede with the title of the album.

The album has a relentless quality, which is admirable in its single-mindedness. This album is relatively brief (6 tracks, 36 minutes). Such a brief recording may ordinarily be disappointing, but when I finish listening to this I feel anything more would be unnecessary. That is not to say that the listener will have reached some kind of destination, but the album's essence has been firmly manifested. It is difficult to share in Ebola's expression totally, but it is so absolute that is becomes real for the listener. They are ultimately left in an emotional limbo. While the album is personal in terms of the fervent and violent display of anguish, it is also alienating. The listener has been taken somewhere, almost against their will. They have undergone the realization of the fearfulness of death, as well as its certainty and absoluteness. There is however no purging. The listener does not feel resigned to acceptance, and Ebola certainly doesn't. From my limited translation skills, it seems that Ebola has been driven to ruminations of death, and that this is an excruciating place to be. But there is no romanticization here. It is as if the matter cannot be resolved, and that it's not as simple as "death is freedom". The consideration of death is lamentable and distressing and merely highlights the desperation of the plight.

No respite or reflection is offered during the course of the CD, and no solution or conclusion is offered at the end. It is a perpetual expression. Perpetua Funebre Gloria is not supposed to be pleasant. I would best describe it as an appaling and dreadful journey, and a real and valuable expression.

Dismal And Hateful !! A must-fucking-have !! - 95%

Emptyness, March 27th, 2006

This is the epitome of Extremely Melancholic Black Metal. This time the sound and the style is a little bit different. Now Ebola continues on different path as for the last full-length released. Perpetua Funebre Gloria is the first melancholic release of Cryfemal.

The Atmospheres are much dismal and the songs much slower than on the all previous Cryfemal recordings.
Its colder, slow, very melancholic and grim. The production here has been improved, its fucking excellent indeed.
The mix between the instruments is perfectly balanced !! You can hear all instruments clearly.
The synths are what make this album so melancholic and grim, with very depressive melodies.

The vocals aren’t so raw they are more clear in this new release, than in all previous releases.
Sometimes they are tortured screams, which convey the feelings of melancholy and sorrow. They are reduced to treble fuzz but in this recording, and are very much understandable, than in all previous recordings, because of the improved sound. They are sung very slow with immense hatred, and sadness.

The drum beats are fuckin perfectly done. The drums are real, very complex structured, and never repetitive. (The drum structure have always been one of Cryfemal's high points.) At moments they are fast and slow. The speed changes are especially well written, and seem both effortless and perfectly timed.

This recording is full of melancholy and negative feelings, which can easily induce the listener into a Trance and Suicide. The Melancholy of the vocals fits the mood perfectly throughout this release, making it an excellent addition to the overall sound. Every song has not a great variety of guitar riffs, despite the length, each track is not boring. The songs are quite long, full of Negative energy, Coldness, Hatred and Very Depressive Waves of Melancholy. I’ve read translations of the lyrics they are very dark and grim, they are in Spanish, mainly about death.

When listening to this, turn off all the lights, You'll like every second of it. A very tasteful album, with any negative aspects. This is a very good, haunting release. Personally I consider the evolution of the music of this band very guessed right, and I hope from here to continue making works like this. The reason why this CD get a 99 is because of the amazing fast evolution of the band, and the fucking well improved production. The grimmest cryfemal recording to date. The CD also includes the video clip Segunda Muerte, recorded in Madrid’s cemetery !!!

This is not for everyone !! This is not for posers, nor symphonic black metal, neither weak people. Let me advice you that this album really does make me want to kill myself. When I listen to it, my mood is immediately changing into grim, pessimistic, and very suicidal melancholic emotions, and sadness… Buy or Die.
A must-fucking-have for any fan of Melancholic black metal.

Highlighted Tracks:

1-Lamentos Antes De Fallecer,
2-Descanse en paz,
3-Tras la muerte,
6-La muerte Inbertida.