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Quercus : Verferum

Once again, Czech band Quercus remind us of the relevance and beauty that can be found within the Funeral Doom sphere.

'Ceremony of the Night' starts off with haunting pipe organs by Marek 'Markko' Pišl. These are prominent in this song and take great pride of place in Quercus’s DNA. Quercus means "Oak" in Latin and they hail from the Czech Republic.

The band says: "''Verferum' is an ode to what seems to be never-ending and reveals itself to be short and finite. Memento mori. We take Funeral Doom as a rite. It is a magnificent shrine in a beautiful wild nature which we enter with sacred fear. The church organ is an instrument of celebration of the moments like this. Organ as a brutal mass bearing the guitar and vocal compositions, organ as an ethereal sigh, distant chants. Sharpened senses. Hope. Atonement. Waiting. We pay homage to J. S. Bach. His immortal work was our great inspiration, especially 'Prelude & Fugue C minor BWV546' and 'Passacaglia C minor BWV582'.”

This is clearly evident in the music outlaid before us. From heavy passages to quite open spaces with silky leads, it’s relaxing Avant-garde Doom. This song is like a play, three parts each that gives you an abundance of feelings and moods. The vocals are shared by Ondřej Klášterka and Lukáš Kudrna. Strong growls of depravity tear you apart. I love these vocals and they blend effortlessly with the pipe organ. This is the band's fourth full album and they have been around since 2002. I feel this is a band that has definitely matured through each release and their last album 'Heart with Bread' I really enjoyed.

'Journey of the Eyes' explores many different textures and ambient melodies. You really should just turn the lights off and soak this in with headphones on. I found it quite hypnotic and it made me want to really delve into the song more and more. I do think it’s quite clever writing as it’s not over dramatised and the changes come in perfectly. Each song will be a journey and to be honest I would not know what to expect from these guys so abstract are the works on show. Wretched vocals midway through torture and torment you before again the music warmly takes you out of the madness.

'The Pu-erh Exhumed' features Don Zaros from Evoken on guest vocals. It is a quiet opening with clean singing. The notes are somber but have really beautiful melodies. The pace quickens up at about the five minute mark gracefully filling our ears with sadness, stabbing away the guitars mournfully creep up on you keeping you entrapped. The guitars are fuzzy but retain enough low end to keep everything heavy.

'Passacaglia D minor, White and Black Darkness' is a monster twenty-three minutes. By this point a break is welcome to recharge the batteries and once again fall into the abyss. Organs again play hymns of dread, bass pounds away within your chest as drums cascade through your headspace. It builds and builds like some forgotten landscape that’s withered and evolution is slowly shaping something new.

I welcome this great band back. Funeral Doom is sad, depressing and melodic. This is where I feel most at home and Quercus just reminded me why I never want to leave.

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Reviewer's rating: 7.5/10


Tracklist :
1. Ceremony Of The Night
2. Journey Of The Eyes
3. The Pu-Erh Exhumed
4. Passacaglia D Minor, White And Black Darkness

Duration : Approx. 61 minutes

Visit the Quercus bandpage.

Reviewed on 2019-04-08 by Riccardo Veronese
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