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Fungoid Stream : Prehuman Shapes

Listening to a Fungoid Stream album is like stepping into a Lovecraft short story. That's how fascinating it is.

Listening to a Fungoid Stream album is like stepping into a Lovecraft short story. Fungoid Stream is a Funeral Doom project conceived to pay tribute to the master of Providence. To Lovecraft, the visions and the words; to Fungoid Stream, the ambitious task to put them into music.

Lovecraft is a major influence to the most extreme, twisted, dreadful Doom there is. His apocalyptic cosmology gave birth to monstrous albums, be they direct or indirect attempts at conveying the singular terror he instills in his many hallucinatory tales.

The third album by this two-man Argentinian project (let’s say right off that Joseph C. is the only composer) is another bleak experience full of mysterious horrors that don a certain kind of unhealthy beauty. The gears are still the same, and if you’re familiar with both previous efforts, you’ll tread the same unsettling grounds. Although containing guitar, voice and drums, Fungoid Stream's music sounds very synthetic , as if disembodied, unreal. The band’s major landmark is the keyboard which is used for various renditions: ethereal, oppressive waves that weave a spectral background where sour, sad piano-like notes echo; at other times, it raises a choir of ghastly angels singing with a disturbing, fouled grace. There are obvious traces of Post-modern classical music in here : Breg, Schönberg, Penderecki have undoubtly left strong marks on these two men.

If we forget a bit about Lovecraft’s Legacy and consider ‘Prehuman Shapes’ on its own, the most remarkable thing is the way the album flows from one track to the other, only taking advantage of subtle shades, slight variations of tempo, slowly progressing through the opaque story the lyrics tell - and yet always having this weird, obsessive appeal. The musical gear is quite reduced and, after all, that is often the sign of a very personal vision: Joseph C. chose his tools carefully, he limited his musical panel to a few textures, a barely-changing overall architecture where every element (and there are only three very idiosyncratic ones: a deep semi-growled, semi-spoken voice - courtesy of Simon O, the artist behind Qhwertt - the ethereal keyboard and the guitar's typical droning riffs) is carefully arranged and repeated to create a disturbing, mystical voyage. At some places, you can hear the drumming in a more prominent way, pounding more energically; at others, some strange voices treated through some distorting filters bring about an extra touch of unearthly weirdness.

Well, this is what the third chapter Fungoid Stream have written - under the dictation of their mentor H.P. Lovecraft - sounds like: a slow, meditative, religious wandering through the mind of one of the most whimsical authors that ever existed. To his symbols, loaded with fear and anxiety, the band have added a fair amount of beauty, though. The beauty of the unintelligible; and, as you could have noticed from this review, the music is hardly describable: this is how fascinating it is.

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Reviewer's rating: 9.5/10


Tracklist :
1. Great Messenger, Bringer Of Strange Joy
2. Holocaust Of Ecstasy And Freedom
3. Bridges Of Yuggoth
4. Things That I Dare Not Repeat
5. In Idiot Vortices
6. Dead, He Waits Dreaming
7. All In One And One In All

Duration : Approx. ?? minutes

Visit the Fungoid Stream bandpage.

Reviewed on 2014-02-09 by Bertrand Marchal
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