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Funeral Moth : Transience

Despite its harshness, Funeral Moth's sophomore offers an organic, inviting, submersive experience.

Have you ever come across an album where you knew in your gut beforehand that it was going to be something extraordinary? This is the exact feeling I experienced upon first holding Funeral Moth's sophomore full-length 'Transience' in my hands. The lovely white Digipak album packaging in itself reflects much tastefulness - characteristic of a band with high maturity, humility and honesty in expression. Upon delving further into the music, one will be thrilled to realize the aforementioned qualities only represent the beginning. Indeed there is SO much more to this band below the surface of their impressive album cover.

To cover the basics, Funeral Moth are an extreme doom outfit hailing from Japan and have been active since 2005. Employing a traditional 4-piece lineup, the band consists of Makoto Fujishima (guitars/vocals),Tomohiro Kanja (guitars), Yuichiro Azegami (drums) and the welcome new member Ryo Amamiya on bass duties, effectively replacing founding member Nobuyuki Sento.

Their musical style may be conveyed as extremely slow, dark and harrowing Funeral Doom - yet ironically - equally rejuvenating and soul-empowering. However, there is nothing traditional about Funeral Moth's style of Funeral Doom. The band allows ample room for experimentation within their compositions, all of which interweave masterfully to provide memorable sonic voyages for the earnest traveller's heart and mind.

To provide an introductory overview of what the 'Transience' journey entails, the following words from the band themselves sum it up best: "Tremendous agony in which we suffer on our transient mortal life; feeling of loss, endless sorrow, sense of emptiness and remorse. This album is dedicated to the voiceless dead who had returned to the tranquil ocean with mortal agony". The 2-title tracklist is anything but minimal as it may appear - both 'Transience' and 'Lost' embody two mammoth pieces of generous Doom clocking in at 21:59 and 17:54 minutes respectively.

It is indeed challenging to describe music which in itself invokes emotional and spiritual properties that transcend the limiting realm of verbal/written language. However, I will say this: 'Transience' is not an album that sits in the more mainstream category of bands which are appreciated on the level of 'entertainment' or aesthetic value. On the contrary, it directs the listener inward - whether to explore the complexities and inner workings of the self or to contemplate the outermost infinite nature of the cosmos. Either way, 'Transience' serves as a powerful tool of exploration for the prospective listener's prerogative, be it an emotional, spiritual or psychological one.

The organic approach to production on the album is highly commendable and very much complementary to the style and feel of the band's musical performance. Despite the harshness of droning guitar distortions and Makoto's bellowing growls, there is something truly 'inviting' about the album's production style which easily draws the listener in. The level of musicianship shared between the quartet is extremely high - all the more impressive given the band's minimalistic employment of instrumental and compositional arrangement. Last but not least, of noteworthy mention is the prominence of Ryo's solid bass contributions. The instrument stands out distinctively and adds much dynamism to the overall sound of the band - a rare quality given that the bass in traditional Doom ensembles generally seem to hide in the shadows of the guitars with the sole function of providing low-end emphasis.

To sum up, 'Transience' is just an incredible album that implores a dedicated listen. This is possibly the best album I've heard in months, and one that I would highly recommend for the doom-seeker who prefers bands that undertake a more mature approach towards the genre (i.e Mournful Congregation, Asunder, Corrupted). Interested parties can make a jump onto Funeral Moth's Bandcamp page to obtain a digital copy of 'Transience', or perhaps consider spending a couple of extra dollars to acquire the lovely digipak-CD on offer - definitely a notable album to add to one's personal collection. After that, be sure to check out their equally phenomenal debut full-length 'Dense Fog'.

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Reviewer's rating: 9/10


Tracklist :
1. Transience
2. Lost

Duration : Approx. 40 minutes

Visit the Funeral Moth bandpage.

Reviewed on 2016-07-20 by Trishay J Trada
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