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Funeral Mourning : Left Seething Yet Unspoken & Veneration Of Broken Worlds (EP)

Funeral Mourning's swansong is a morbid emotional experience with melancholy at the forefront.

Funeral Mourning, for all their short periods of activity, are one of the big names in the extreme Doom scene. They were formed way back in 2005, and the first incarnation lasted until 2007, gradually evolving from blackish Funeral Doom into pure Black/Funeral Doom. In 2015, on the ten year anniversary of the band's formation, the second incarnation emerged. Once again, it lasted just two years, evolving from pure morbid Funeral Doom to gradually allow more melody and emotion with each subsequent release. And while during the first era it was all about waves of desperation and thick, clinging depression, the second era arrived with a demo tape containing the darkest music Funeral Mourning ever created, followed by a second full-length that is the epitome of beautiful desolation.

Finally came 'Left Seething yet Unspoken & Veneration of Broken Worlds' - a single track EP comprised of two parts: the swansong of the band, released posthumously, after Desolate had made the sad announcement that "The band is now 100% dead". That was highly unfortunate, as each release was getting better and more interesting, and the demise came right when the band was at an all-time high, reaching the pinnacle of its musical expression. The EP was released on all main formats, and this review is based on the vinyl version that I own - which sounds surprisingly good considering that vinyl is hard and expensive to get right, and I did not expect too many resources to go into this release.

The song, lasting roughly twenty-five minutes, was created during the sessions for 'Inertia Of Dissonance' and sounds quite akin to them. It starts with a small cute clean melody that hooks you immediately and is repeated throughout the album, in similar fashion to Wormphlegm's 'Epejumalat Monet Tesse Muinen Palveltin Lauran Ja Lesse' from their sole full-length release. From there it builds very slowly adding new elements - soft moans, a distant flat line, extremely slow distorted guitars, deep growls and the main winding melody that is going to drive the song. As usual, Desolate does not count on extreme distortion - on the contrary - the crushing weight comes from the composition itself.

The power of the slow disheartening clean notes that introduce the song is overwhelming, almost unbelievably so for such simple notes. But the real highlight is definitely the winding lead guitar. It puts this closest to 'Whom Shepherd Seeds Of Discord' from 'Inertia...' but doubles down on the emotional intensity found there, elevating it to new highs. It puts melancholy at the forefront, so strong you cannot remain untouched - sad, emotional, intense and stunningly beautiful.

This amazing melody is explored through the distant drums, the straightforward riffs and the deep low dry grunts that sound prolonged, morbid and ghostly, making it shine even more brightly amongst the pitch black darkness and death that surrounds it.

At the thirteen minute mark the melody gets dim, stands almost alone, and then fades away into silence. There is a short, quiet break with distant moans and semi-industrial sounds. Afterwards, in its second section, the song changes quite significantly - the growls become even deeper and the winding melody is cast aside until the end, reappearing in a form both subdued and pushed to the background, unfortunately losing most of its emotional power.

The second part of the track sees the sound moving from emotional to completely lifeless: it gains some speed, no longer melody driven, and the guitars become straightforward but vibrating as if they are burning while the morbid growls are at the forefront. Maybe it signifies the end, the return to the underworld, but it feels uninspired when compared to the previous section. Mundane and not especially touching, this underwhelming section lasts until the end. The winding guitar melody arises for one last time, but not as intensely as before. It sounds like the music completely halted, and now we're just seeing recollections of past life going through our minds.

These recollections cannot have the same weight, or the same effect, as they are distant and observed from far away. It is not like the music is drifting away, but more as if we are drifting away from the music. And, once beyond that veil, it loses its power to touch us in the same way, bringing a sense of pure alienation. The guitars are very weary and weak in this section, with a weird kind of vibrating effect and fast drum tempo creating somewhat chaotic atmosphere. So, we travel far away, to a place where music cannot provide solace: we try to grasp and cling to the emotion, perhaps even succeed for a short while, but then the ghosts drag us back.

The first part of the song is pure bliss of the highest order: one of the best pieces of Doom ever created and deserves a solid and unquestionable 10. This is without doubt the best thing Desolate has ever done, the pinnacle of his career with Funeral Mourning. The guitar leads are so beautiful, simply transcendent, creating a deeply melancholic masterpiece highlighted by the lead melody that is explored ever further and slower until it disintegrates and dies in the silence. But whilst I could picture a reasonable explanation* for the abrupt structural transformation that follows, it does not change the fact that the second part of this song is noticeably weaker and loses some of the built up tension and emotion, as if Desolate has exhausted all inspiration.

*[Taken from the artist's own words - "This howling corpse keeps raising to kill the flame in my fucking heart.And we sail upon distant seas to nowhere – all the way to an endless nowhere. Yet i yield to nothing, nowhere, always and never…"
This might explain why the second part sounds both disturbing and tumultuous, like a final battle leading to the last notes ending in a new-found piece. He finally won: the corpse is buried underground, and the stormy seas finally took him to the endless nowhere he so desired].

Still, despite the underwhelming second part ,'Left Seething yet Unspoken & Veneration of Broken Worlds' is simply wonderful - draining, bleak and poignant with the focus placed on melodic sound as opposed to the uncompromising extreme barren desolation of the past. But it is clear that after this EP there would be no returning from the dead for the band: too far gone and lost forever, this was merely one final cry from the underworld. And while the demo was darker and the full-length bleaker, Funeral Mourning's swansong reaches such emotional heights that it really shows the potential of this genre and manages to sounds fresh even on such a well-trodden path.

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Reviewer's rating: 8/10


Tracklist :
1. Left Seething yet Unspoken : Veneration of Broken Worlds

Duration : Approx. 23 minutes

Visit the Funeral Mourning bandpage.

Reviewed on 2020-03-01 by Klamerin Malamov
Aesthetic Death
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