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Abysmal Growls Of Despair : Eternal Lament

If not devoid of flaws and rather predictable, this first effort of Abysmal Growls Of Despair is a convincing ambient Funeral Doom Album.

Abysmal Growls Of Despair… A name which sounds like an omen, even emphasised by the big white crow on the cover which flies over a desolated graveyard. Death and tragedy are roaming here… No doubt, this is Ambient Funeral Doom in its grimmest form, akin to Until Death Overtakes Me, The Howling Void, Lethargy Of Death and Mistress Of The Dead. Like these, A.G.O.D is a one-man band: its mastermind Aimeric Lerat is quite a newcomer on the French scene, although he has already founded a depressive Black Metal project named Hangvart that he also takes care of solo.
As far as Doom is concerned, Aimeric Lerat apparently tried to launch several projects, but all failed to become more than ideas. The very brief biography doesn't give any more precise information (maybe some skeletons are better staying in the closet…). The mystery remains, and we have to consider AGOD and its 'Eternal Lament' demo as the first solid step after several years of musical endeavours and the gleam of light showing at the end of the tunnel.

It is quite difficult (maybe impossible) to sound really fresh within a style as clearly defined as 'ambient funeral doom'; AGOD's lack of originality cannot therefore be considered as a real flaw. The mournful keyboards, the thin guitars, the deep growls and the overall procession-like pace are hackneyed tools, but AGOD uses them with firm conviction. The depressed feelings created by the funerary choirs are echoes of the works of Mistress Of The Dead, the most relevant reference among those I gave above.
Several types of vocals are mixed together: the predominant 'usual' growl is occasionally sustained by some kind of theatrical declamations, uttered in a weak and afflicted voice expressing some weird worrisome inner turmoil. Lyrics are also quite pessimistic: these are short syntagms, as if jotted down on paper just before the end, a last relic of a distressed soul. The booklet gives the graphic impression that these texts are partly covered with dust, as though just discovered by an archeologist in the ruins of an old abandoned building.
Along the exploration, intriguing piano notes creep in into the musical score. They are as discrete and elusive as a spectral presence you can't help perceiving furtively in the mirror, then sliding behind the corner of the wall before it vanishes. The piano adds a bit of personality to the AGOD project, a red line you follow from the downpour opening the first track to the final drum rolls closing "Awful Dreams", announcing an imminent disaster.

If not exceptional, the quality of the sound is at least sufficient to distinctly hear and appreciate each instrument, which gives extra clarity to the dark omens of AGOD.
The six long laments that make up the album are hardly different from each other, because of a (perhaps deliberately) reduced sound range. The result is austere and quite uniform, despite being very cohesive. AGOD concentrates on the genre's basics, even if you can say these basics are relative meagre. This ambivalent impression is increased by the homemade recording: does it sound 'authentic', or rather 'rough-and-ready'? That's a matter of personal opinion - the neverending story of the half-full, half-empty glass…
However, some flaws remain annoying. I particularly have to point out the weak drum lines of 'Nothing Remains' and their dull pounding. The central position of this track should have been a crux, but unfortunately the drumming flattens all the drama. There are some abrupt transitions between a few sequences: it appears AGOD doesn't yet possess the sharp composition skills that The Howling Void recently reached with "The Womb Beyond the World", for example.

Logically, this first demo shows some imperfections as well as prospective room for improvement. 'Eternal Lament' is on the whole honest and respectable, its quality isn't that far from the mine-run of Solitude Productions, to give you a comparison.
More experience, more time and better recording means should rectify AGOD's youthful mistakes and make his take on Funeral Doom more persuasive.
Maybe the end of the tunnel is not that far off…

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Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
2.Eternal Lament
3.Silencing Ensemble
4.Nothing Remains
5.All These Wrong Things
6.Awful Dreams

Duration : Approx. 48 minutes

Visit the Abysmal Growls Of Despair bandpage.

Reviewed on 2013-08-03 by Manu Buck
Aesthetic Death
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