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A Magnum Opus of Epic Funeral Doom - 100%

Goatfangs, June 14th, 2018
Written based on this version: 2016, Digital, Independent (Bandcamp)

2016 was a rather shitty year, especially with the Russians helping a certain conman win a certain election. However, not everything that came out of Russia was alt-right fake news propaganda. The masters of Russian funeral doom (and frankly Russian doom metal in general) returned to deliver this epic album. It is by far their grandest opus, with sprawling epic doom tunes to satisfy that ever present hunger.

This album doesn't always stay in funeral doom territory. As with Ars Moriendi, they do pick up the pace at times. Damodara Stotra has a galloping verse that brings to mind Moonsorrow more than Mournful Congregation. There is also a masterfully executed flow between tracks, they flow into each other perfectly. There aren't really any transitions that feel awkward or forced, which was a minor pitfall of Ars Moriendi (some of the fast sections were quite sudden). В поисках себя for instance soars into a melodic death metal paced section before gliding effortlessly back into the funereal realm.

Is it possible for funeral doom to be so uplifting? I don't consider this music depressive at all. Hell, I could run to this album. It motivates me. I feed my baby mantises to this album. All of the riffs, every single riff, is fucking perfect.

The finale of this album is truly magnificent. It seems to use the same motif of acoustic ecstasy at the end of Ars Moriendi (the one that appeared in dream), but they add sitar and beautiful female and male vocals. It is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard. Fragments of Eternity indeed.

2016 was a dark year, I found myself in a state of severe depression. It was bad enough that I was forgetting about caring for my mantises. But this album helped pull me out of that pit of despair. That and a therapist that I saw every two weeks.