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The Baguette Doom Series pt. IV: Humpback Whales - 92%

Metantoine, August 12th, 2013

France is actually quite well known for its handful of funeral doom metal bands. 2013 is an awesome and important year for the fans of this slow and painful music as it marks the release of the new albums of Funeralium and Ataraxie, their first in 6 and 5 years respectively. "Deceived Idealism”, a double album of 87 minutes is another massive testament to everything heavy and should shut the mouths of the French naysayers, these guys are never gonna surrender.

Sharing 2 core members, both bands are somewhat following similar paths as they play the same yet not very common metal style. Funeral doom is not for your overall plebeian metalhead as it requires a lot of attention and effort to get through half an hour songs. But if you survived the 37 minutes song on Elysian Blaze's latest album, you'll be fine here. Funeralium has a lot more sludge and experimental/noise influences than their brother band who's all about anguishing funeral doom/death. The death metal elements, outside of the cavernous vocals, isn't quite present here, it's a bit more near depressive black metal but that's still a stretch. After their superb self titled album, the band released an album maybe not as original and weirdly distorted but I believe it's more focused (even though it's longer) and their style has been refined.

The album has 6 tracks, 3 on each CD and both sides are opened by shorter introductions. “Blood, Phlegm and Vomit” is a noisy, sludgey opener with harsh distorted vocals. Even though it doesn't sound quite like their usual stuff, it's setting the tone of the album perfectly. It's torturous and weird within the limits of what funeral doom can achieve. It's a fitting introduction to an uneasy (in the most pleasant way possible) album. After its mere 3:45 minutes, the intro track gives his place to “21st Century Inepsia” and its crushing demeanor. The opener of CD number 2, “Hang These Bastards” is a six minutes track and you know the samples you can find in a movie torrent to show the quality of the rip? Well, this track is encapsulating their formula.

The band has nothing to envy to the English legends Esoteric in terms of atmosphere, songwriting and musicianship. In fact, if they were to fight, it would probably be the Hundred Years' War part two since they're both slow and fucking violent in their emotional intensity. They should perhaps do a 4 hours split together and see who's the best at annihilating the souls of their listeners?

Marquis' vocals are once again superb. Going from cavernous Dutch influenced harsh vocals to higher pitched blackened goodness. Most present than in your usual funeral doom band, they drive the enormous wall of noise created by the duo of guitars. From clean and atmospheric to tremolos of vividness, the 25 minutes title track is encompassing everything Funeralium can do. They're explorers of the deepest abyss of the humans' cosmos and their slowed down approach makes it even more thoughtful.

The extreme French doom scene is really growing with the help of Funeralium, they're pushing the funeral doom genre forward with ease and class. “Deceived Idealism” is definitely one of the highlights of the year.

Metantoine's Magickal Realm