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Grieving Age : Merely the Fleshless We And the Awed Obsequy

Grieving Age's new offering is a well-executed album, if a bit dry overall, and definitely not for everyone.

Listening to ’Merely the Fleshless We And the Awed Obsequy’ feels like entering a thorny garden of worms and serpents. Imagine a sound descended from Cathedral, Parameacium and Grief with slicker production, fewer dynamics (read: loud), and playing time stretched to the limit of tolerance. You can find Saudi Arabia’s Grieving Age on this branch of the old, twisted tree. Their second album, and first for the ever-dependable Solitude Productions, is a marathon slog through two discs of five punishingly long, tritone-ridden sludgy Doom Metal songs sprawling, crawling, and growling their pained course for just under two hours.

Should you choose to step into this quagmire, may I suggest bringing your thesaurus? ’Merely the Fleshless’ overflows with an eye-boggling abundance of lyrical word mazes behind song titles like ‘At the Licentious Abortionist’s Abattoir’ or ‘Thine Disinherited Gravid Worms Adjure Excruciatingly’. Most of the lyrical tangles end with an exclamation point, giving the impression of a very emphatic variety of anguish: “Oh, where our abraded scourged bones? Ruefully propound their fallacious shrifts! Mourning the grewsomely (sic) ingurgitated martyrs! Crucify the duteous rapturous we O!”

Make no mistake, the album is emotionally effective. Vocalist Ahmed employs a tortured, stiff-lip growl that is distantly like a modern, beastly take on Lee Dorrian, punctuated by tortured howls. Here there’s no dream of beauty in darkness, only the recognition of an ugly, raw reality.

’Merely the Fleshless’ is more sandstorm than blizzard, perhaps unsurprising given the band’s locale. These five songs aren’t easily held in the listener’s head all at once, nor is there much difference between or within them. Every point on the album sounds like every other point, and you could lose track of which song is playing if your attention is diverted. It implies a sense of pervasive futility; but it also means the music doesn’t really go anywhere, making such a lengthy album a risky test of patience.

This is a well-executed album, if a bit dry overall, and definitely not for everyone. While more polished and less extreme than bands like Khanate, ’Merely the Fleshless We And the Awed Obsequy’ is an appreciably harsh landscape unchanging as far as the eye can see (or the ear can hear). For those who thrive on the slightly dirtier, nastier type of Doom, Grieving Age gives you about as much of it as any mortal can handle.

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Reviewer's rating: 6.5/10


Tracklist :
Disc 1
1. Merely the Ululating Scurrilous Warblers Shalt Interminably Bray!!
2. O, Elegiac Purulent Purtenance, O Sepulchral Longevous Billows…
3. Till the Forlorn Opprobrious Malady Thrives Amongst the Stridulous Indigents We!

Disc 2
1. At the Licentious Abortionist’s Abattoir, Thine Disinherited Gravid Worms Adjure Excruciatingly
2. I’m the Dilacerated Sewed Flesh ! I’m the Sculpturesque Doomed Soliloquy!

Duration : Approx. 106 minutes

Visit the Grieving Age bandpage.

Reviewed on 2014-01-06 by Mark Rzeszutek
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