Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Four Burials - Otesanek/Loss/Orthodox/Mournful Congregation (A)

DOOM ALBUM OF THE YEAR. Ok, so that may be a bit premature but fuck if this won't be a contender. I mean, a pairing of four doom behemoths, all with different takes and tweaks on the genre, how can it not be amazing ? ! Up first, the plodding sludge/drone/funeral doom of Pennsylvania's Otesanek. Admittedly I had not heard these guys before, but was made a fan upon first listen. Think Khanate, Bunker and that sort of ilk, slooooow, sick doom. Riffs ring out and crumble back into themselves only to be ressurected later in the song, agonized gutturals and screams cry out, drums plod to a funeral tempo. The only respite being near the end when the distorted guitars fade out and clean strumming takes their place, only lasting a minute if that before everything lurches back into full on crush mode to finish the song out.

Next is the depressive doom of Loss, coming from the most unlikely of places, Nashville. It starts with an almost industrial march, soon follows a sound clip of a man speaking "When I become death, death is the seed in which I grow". Bass chimes in with a bell toll like slowness, guitar strings creak as they're stretched. A guitar melody seeps in, almost pretty and oh so sorrowful, kind of old Katatonia-esque. The prettiness transforms into more chugging doom riffage, still plenty sorrowful of course. The song (death)marches on, as heavy as it is pretty, loooow vocals gurgling beneath. Don't be suprised if a tear wells up in your eye as you continue your stuck-in-molasses headbanging. It ends with that same sound clip previously stated, perfectly complimenting the music. I must say this track is worth getting the album alone, amazing, I do hope they come out with another full length soon ...

Onto Orthodox's track which is, anything but orthodox (I had to). I'm not really sure I would label this as doom actually, more like stretched out improvisational, ethnically tinged experimental rock. Something along those lines, whatever it is, it rules. Drums and bass move to "the doom pace", guitars strumming clean jazzy melodies. Vocals wail overhead, having an effect on them which makes 'em have that sound like when you put your hand over your mouth and move it extremely fast away and back again whilst talking. Yeah. They also get the most loud and emotionally intense out of all the instruments. The piece is accompanied by what I believe is a cello for it's last minute (out of 18!).

Lastly comes in the legendary Mournful Congregation to present a perfect slab of majestic funeral doom ! Like walking through some huge, old European cathedral, mouth agape in awe at the beauty that surrounds you, sun rays occasionally making thir way through the windows, causing everything to glow with a golden radiance. Meanwhile, the majestic doom of Mournful Congregation echoes cavernously off the walls, filling your ears to the brim with its power. Near the middle of the song choir like vocals come in, giving the music an ethereal, almost angelic like quality. And thusly the album marches on, all the way to glorious death!

So if you can't tell already, this is ESSENTIAL for all those eternally doomed ! Let's see if the forthcoming Esoteric 2-disc holds up to this ...

Available through Battle Kommand Records.

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