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Eternal Emptiness.... - 72%

Spatupon, September 21st, 2014
Written based on this version: 2013, CD, Harpia Records (Limited edition)

Ukraine is quite a fertile country when it comes to the black metal sub-genre. Such bands as Drudkh, Hate Forest, and Moloch, all originate from this eastern European country, right next to Russia. Funeral Tormently is a relatively new depressive black metal band, in vein of Happy Days, and Trist. Droning melodies, mesmerizing drum-beats, droning vocals, and an overall depressive atmosphere, is what you can expect from this mini-album consisting of one single song, spanning more than ten minutes in length.

Pretty formulaic right? Quasi-cliche. Sure, this is just another almost run-of-the-mill depressive black metal release, but when you unfold and elucidate the music, you start realizing that there's no need for any innovation when it comes to creating a mini-album which will make the listener journey through the darkest corridors of his thought. To put it in a few words, the title of the mini-album truly manages to describe the reality of this song. Emptiness, and void, two adjectives which fit the equation of this band, perfectly.

The piano in this song is definitely the highlight. It's depressive, it's melancholic, and evokes a feeling of longing which can be experienced when listening only to a handful of bands in this over-saturated sub-genre. Technically, the long piano passage, is quite lacking when it comes to innovation, but when it comes to releasing the most sadistic, mind-destructing emotions, the passage really does a great job. I wouldn't say that it serves as the best bridge between the first part of the song, and the second, and the last part of this long-winding journey, because it doesn't seem to connect both ends perfectly, and so the cohesiveness of the song is tempered with, making the piano passage appear as an isolated, detached chapter in the song.

The organs in the latter part of the song, over-power the guitars, and to some degree, even the drums, but damn it, they sound truly morbid, and gut-wrenching. The overall atmosphere they create, remind of certain works by bands such as Drowning the Light, Nortt, and Evilfeast, to mention a few. So this entire EP, can be said to work in the tradition of the darker, more "ambient", and "atmospheric" sound-leaning bands. It's words apart from bands such as Nyktalgia, who are also considered to be depressive black metal, and therefore, this mini-album cannot truly be labelled "depressive black metal", even if the sound is ominously depressive.

The production of this mini-album is considerably good, nothing out of the ordinary, just good. It truly manages to heed to the wishes of the atmosphere which the instruments and the vocals alone, create. Every instrument is audible, and the flow of the entire song is never put in jeopardy except when the song is about to progress from the piano passage, to the last part of the song. I recommend this album to those of you who are into the rawer sound of black metal, with a strong, depressive sound, and uncompromising melancholy.

No false advertising here: it's eternal emptiness! - 50%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, February 21st, 2014

Funeral Tormently is a Kyiv-based depressive suicidal black metal act that's been very prolific over the past two years (2012 t0 2013) with no fewer than 12 mostly short releases. Helmed by Natan Pierrot, FT traffick in gloomy black metal meditating on loneliness and emptiness as a mental state. The item under review, "Eternal Emptiness ...", was released in 2013.

At least we can't accuse FT of false advertising: "Eternal Emptiness ..." delivers slow, mournful and painful music with a background of steady falling-rain field-recording ambience, a fairly simple solo piano melody at various points throughout the track and listless black metal guitar and drum plod accompaniment. Add slow heavy breathing bordering on snore-dom and (in the track's later half) a church organ melody on the verge of slumbering itself, and we really do have a minimalist-styled recording that's pretty much got ... nothing to say. It's eternal emptiness all right!

I won't deny that Pierrot has ambition and ability: the track is arranged well with a definite emphasis on a bleak and despairing mood, and FT has a good guitar sound which unfortunately here makes up less than half the recording. The problem though is that the song depends on repetition of the same melody throughout and that melody, dark and sombre as it is, is not a particularly memorable one. The slow pace drains all energy and life out of the music. The constant falling rain ambience ebbs and flows in volume which suggests it is a repeating loop. Oops, I'm sure that wasn't really intended.

Can't say I would recommend this track but it's mercifully short at just over 11 minutes and it can be heard in full on Youtube, so anyone who is interested can make of it what s/he will.