By: Owen Coggins

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Released on March 13, 2016 via Weird Truth Productions

This stunning new album from Funeral Moth opens up vast, desolate, mournful panoramas of doom. Over the course of just two tracks (the first just over, the second just under 20 minutes) and a restrained palette of hanging-in-the-air tones matched with a powerful gruff roar, the record has the listener travelling over unforgiving expanses of grey wasteland.

The title track on the first side heads off with a crystal, ringing clear sound, with the slightly jarring notes allowed to soak into the surrounding air. Before long, of course, there is a burst of low, low growling distortion, which supplements and carries rather than obliterates the delicate guitar line. Then another sawing tone skewers and strings out the haunting melody, over measured punches of reverberating bass and crash cymbal. It’s a great intro, powerful but controlled, well-thought-out sounds arranged for maximum effect. In its reserved, quiet waiting for devastating, crushing doom impacts it’s reminiscent of Corrupted’s Mundo Frio. It’s not quite as extreme as that record (which features perhaps the heaviest drop ever, after ten full minutes of harp twinkling), but it’s high praise indeed that Funeral Moth seem comfortable in that company. Later in the track there’s a great slow, repeated rising twin guitar line, which then drifts into more expressive territory at a completely confident, unhurried pace of detached exploration. Even the demon vocals tread a path between contemplation and shrieking horror- in everything about this record there’s a perfect balance between the quiet passages in which you can feel the oceanic power being held back, and the loud raging bits which still keep that sombre, reflective atmosphere.

The other track, ‘Lost’, is similarly epic and uses a closely-related set of sounds and moves. The phrasing in the early parts of the track is great, with the emphasis half stepping off some chords before the next smashing impact, creating an engagingly intricate sense to the creaking and thudding. The structure is similar to the previous track in parts, such as where the guitars start to rise again together, followed by a doubled whisper in the vocals. And in fact, it’s not dissimilar to their previous full-length Dense Fog. But the particular developments of the tracks here are second to the world they create, an monochrome but beautifully textured evocation of the slow exhaling of a post-human world. Transience and loss, certainly, but heard from somewhere far beyond their effects.

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