The doom genre is currently as dense as the riffage and guitars that often prescribes the scene but there are a handful of sub-genres not quite as oversubscribed as others. One of those sub-genres is that of Funeral Doom – the depressing, dissonant and often disturbing procession of doom and dinge. Adversvm are certainly in that realm with Dysangelion that delivers unbelievable weight and immersion.
The band intersperse their intense delivery of funeral doom esque distress with the occasional double bass pedal action and faster paced approach which it certainly a refreshing approach. It does seem to separate the band from those in the genre which are slower than hobbling through a graveyard with a broken ankle.
Whereas My Dying Bride have a more orchestrated approach to their music and Finnish masters Shape Of Despair build layers of keyboard synth interwoven with riffage, Adversvm are more in the vein of early Ahab which, with their superb and crushing production, deliver an intense and dark musical journey of riffage. The PR info seems to refer to ‘Blackened Doom’ but Colosseum and Ea are more akin contemporaries to reference, along with the aforementioned Ahab. This delivery of the tracks is not as majestic as say Comatose Virgil, nor as slow as Of Darkness or stripped down as Skepticism, but there is true potential on Dysangelion as the riffs are thicker than gravy from a northern chip shop.
The album opens with Icon O, an all-enveloping intro which then progresses immediately into Encomium To Dies Irae that’s a wall of deep slow paced funeral procession. The music creates a sense of tension and its exceptionally emotive – however, it conjures feelings, not of hatred but of self-loathing, inevitability of death and ultimately provokes introspection of the human soul.
[Dysangelion] provokes images of grey skies and it’s quite a claustrophobic atmosphere – exactly what we would expect from a funeral doom album…
By the time we reach the mid-album interlude of Morti Debitus, we’ve been battered by half an hours worth of such introspection. It provokes images of grey skies and it’s quite a claustrophobic atmosphere – exactly what we would expect from a funeral doom album. There are then another two tracks On The Eucharist It Shines and Haghios Apocalypsis respectively, before progressing into the outro Solar Doom that closes out the procession. The latter half of the album is more of the blackened side with the harsher black metal approach being used more than just as a tactical way to maintain traction but actually orientates the entire performance around this double pedal pulsing backbone.
It’s a gruelling testimony to the commitment to their craft that Adversvm commit to creating five dense tracks of esoteric funeral doom, with occasional pulses of double bass black metal interspersing the distress. They could have merely offered the first five tracks for 30 minutes, but instead they’ve committed to an immense 52 minutes and this creates a very solid sophomore offering from a band who’ve laid down to the sensibilities of funeral doom, while also adding some niche changes to the formula.
Adversvm are not quite at legendary status to become ritualistic yet but Dysangelion should kickstart a following on which to build their cult. Sign me up.
Scribed by: Francisco Javier