A slow, atmospheric, melancholy dirge. Music so thick and murky, it sounds like wading through a swamp. These are the things that make Funeral Doom music. Ironically, they are also the things that can break Funeral Doom music. Like any sub-genre, authenticity is key. Otherwise, what we’re left with is a pretentious mud puddle of sound.
This tends to happen when a band becomes more interested in what they sound like than why they sound that way. Or, to put it another way, they become more interested in the destination than the road they take to get there. Funeral Doom is particularly vulnerable to this phenomenon, because it, when done properly, is deceptively intricate.
A casual listen to any work done by Ahab, Chalice of Suffering, Esoteric, or Bell Witch should illustrate this point quite clearly. In the right hands, Funeral Doom is as consolatory as it is soul crushing. It takes you on a journey, uncomfortable and seemingly endless, but it does not leave you there to travel alone. That, my friends, is the trick. It wants to be there as badly as you want its company.
That is precisely what Abyssal provides with their grievously poetic masterpiece “Misanthrope”. Clocking in at just under forty-six-minutes, never for a moment leaving you stranded on the side of the road, “Misanthrope” is the real deal. Even a slight interest in the Funeral Doom aesthetic will find a home in the music this trio creates. Highly recommended listening. (VUK)