What we have here is rather ‘digestible’ Funeral Doom from France by a group called Sektarism. ‘Et Facta Est Lux’ is the band’s 4th full length album and the four piece have attained some new members since 2018, most notably bassist Vagus Nox adding in extra guitar duties and a welcome addition of bassist Eurnnath Nefast. All the other members who are also part of Death Metal group Malekhamoves still remain constant since the band’s inception in 2005. So the real question is what Sektarism brings to the table 5 years later. The result may be surprising.
For those that have followed Sektarism since the first full length album in 2012 those know that they went full on with the dredging, dragging, almost too long Funeral Doom patterns of music clocking over an hour. As albums have progressed they seemed to have gotten shorter and more refined with their work, delivering here on ‘Et Facta…’ their ‘shortest’ album yet at 41 minutes, but sometimes less is more. For those that have never heard Sektarism it doesn’t quite follow the standard Disembowelment or Esoteric standard that has been presented by Funeral Doom fans usually. The sound is thick, but not overly thick like Sunn O reverb but it does carry the same pace. It sounds more like Sektarism like to deliver the 2 sides of Funeral Doom separately. The 1st half is more the atmospheric side- quiet and haunting almost like a Drone Doom delivery with some churning guitar and chanting layered vocals, but almost no room for Death Metal growls or keyboards. So there isn’t so much a gothic atmosphere but more of a traditional Doom sense of the guitar focus as it pounds over and over with the riffs. The bad news is that it does get repetitive, but the vocals do their best to mix things up and bring in some more atmospheric elements. Vocalist Eklezjas sounds like a demented priest in his rantings, and then develops towards more demonic tendencies with the 2nd track. Much like what they did on their previous album, but less drum focused and dragged out.
Those who like more traditional Funeral Doom will enjoy ‘Le vent…’ as it brings in more of the Death Metal style vocals and just a louder presence. The guitars and drums are noisier as are the vocals, but there is a bit of a break in the song for some very percussive drumming, the clean vocals, and just quite a bit of a lull that carries on for 6 minutes before going back to the heavier chaos with the droning Doom elements, almost bordering Ulcerate with how gritty the vocals sound and just the hypnotic quality of the music. Ultimately, Funeral Doom fans will find it appealing, but those not used to the genre will find it takes some getting used to. The unsettling nature of the music is enough to keep one on edge so they don’t get bored (a lot of Funeral Doom bands have the bad tendency to make tracks that go on for too long and wear on the listener) and while there is a lot of repeated moments in the album, ‘Et Facta…’ still has its highlights that make it stand above the norm. While only 2 tracks total and what may not seem like enough, those who like a more atmospheric side of lengthy music that borders the likes of Aevangelist meets Ahab will find Sektarism a meditative listen.