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Fungoid Stream : The Winds Among The Stars


After a trio of excellent releases, Fungoid Stream's latest album wanders a bit too far into experimental ambience.



Fungoid Stream are back and to put it mildly, this album is definitely a bit of a swing and a miss. The band have shown on previous albums that they like to meld their heavy Doom Metal sound with a load of weird, ambient elements, but this comes off as a bit too far off the reservation. The spacing is significantly odd and every time it starts to kind of get into the metal side of things it just tapers off for several minutes with each song almost sounding like multiple incredibly short songs stapled together for the sake of expected track lengths. However, if you really like rain sound effects and long keyboard laden intros and outros then you're in for a treat because we've got that in spades here. Spoiler alert: 'Thousands Of Light Years...' essentially has a 7 minute build-up until heavy guitars and vocals come in for a track listed at 11 minutes. Speaking on one of those things...

The vocals are unique, but not in a good way. Case in point is the very beginning of the album, where it almost seems comical and I'm going to assume that they did not intend for that to be the perception. They regularly seem effected in a way that makes them sound like a wounded animal, but the problem kind of lies in the fact that Fungoid Stream aren't incredibly dark... they have a lot of bright elements to their gloomy music and it tends to clash against it. If it was Tyranny or something to that degree and buried a bit in the mix then it would probably work. But melded with a considerably clear production and a lot of choirs and keys, it's going to stand out for the wrong reasons. There's also the vocal sections in the middle of 'The Lightning Seems Dark...' where there's weird whispers and snake stutters which... just listen to it yourself.

One of the strongest claims to be made about the album is that while I don't think certain things work, everything does sound really, really good on a production and mixing level. The guitars (when they exist) are very pretty and lively when they're clean/effected and dirty enough when they need to be. The drums (which may be programmed?) sound tight and the previously mentioned keyboard and sound effect elements are all incredibly high quality. Is there bass? I can't tell. As a whole, the elements that would make this a Doom METAL album are only showcased in about half of the album's runtime (if even that) and it has a tendency to lose me even in those moments, which is disappointing to someone who was a considerable fan of both 'Celaenus Fragments' and 'Prehuman Shapes'. The advanced experimentation in moving away from the heavier elements reminds me in a way of what Septic Mind did on their third album, but even that wasn't quite as extreme. The album is far from poor and it works well as a good record to space out to, but not particularly an engaging experience. Maybe just make 2 EP's next time and split apart the ambient and the metal elements a bit to let them both have their own proper amount of room to breathe?


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Reviewer's rating: 4.5/10

Information

Tracklist :
1. The Wind Gibbers In Their Voices
2. The Lightning Seems Dark And The Darkness Seems Light
3. Interlude: From Yaddith To Earth
4. Thousands Of Light Years, Thousands Of Years Of Time
5. The Earth Mutters With Their Consciousness

Duration : Approx. 46 minutes

Visit the Fungoid Stream bandpage.

Reviewed on 2019-11-11 by Jon Carr
Vanha - Black Lion
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