The funeral doom scene is flourishing like no other here in 2006 with albums by the likes of the fantastic Ahab, When Death Overtakes Me and now Russia’s Comatose Vigil darkening our souls and emptying our hearts with some of the bleakest extreme music ever created. Whilst this is, was and never will be music for everyone’s taste it is hard to deny its ability to induce those feelings of utter darkness, isolation, solitude, death and tranquillity all in one sitting.
Aptly titled, Comatose Vigil’s new opus “Not A Gleam Of Hope” does just that sinking deeper into the mind and flesh with bombastic synths, ultra slow drumming and massive walls of down-tuned guitars. Comprising of 4 songs that span well over the fifteen minute mark there is certainly a lot of material to come to terms with here slowly enveloping the listener into a trance-like state perfect to see in these long winter nights. Amazingly constructed, each track has its own unique quality with the latter two “Mirrors Of Despair” and “Galleries Of Coma” showing just how deeply and personally affective music can be.
Bringing to mind “A Black Moon Broods Over Lamuria” era Bal Sagoth with its snow-inducing swirling synths and deep guttural bellows, “Not A Gleam Of Hope” remains one of the more ‘accessible’ funeral doom releases this year. Accessible in the way that although the songs are long and often repetitive, the different sections are wholly audible and rely more on actual structuring than most of their genre counterparts. Bewildering, mind-expanding, hypnotising and heavy-as-fuck Comatose Vigil have created an album that will hopefully enable people to experience funeral doom music in a whole new light. It’s going to be a long winter indeed… (DaveW)