Funeral doom often runs the risk of becoming a choice between shades of very dark grey. However, Angmodnes, comprised of members of death-doom monolith Apotelesma, manage to be inspired by the big names – Ahab, Skepticism, My Dying Bride – but deliver despondence and despair through their own sonic palette, without relying on the standby of tritone-heavy washes of feedback.
Speaking for myself, it has been good to hear some of the more melodic, ‘classic’ doom tropes make a comeback (Monasterium for example). Angmodnes posted Aeternum Vale’s Doom:Vs on their Instagram recently, which is a clear reference point.
That said, in a fairly saturated scene, this record is an example of getting everything just right. Guitarist Y.S. credits include ‘compositions’, and when you finish this album, you will understand why. The guitar tone is exhausting and crushing. The pained, remorse laden solos and leads are spot-on. Drummer M.V.’s double-kick on Weight Of Eternity is just plain wicked, rising and rising in tempo, without taking over the track, or diminishing the atmosphere.
The guitar tone is exhausting and crushing…
Angmodnes do not shy away from a piano, with extended sections appearing in earnest across the whole record. Y.S. and F.S.’s vocal work also deserves a shoutout with soaring vocal deliveries that manage to embody grief and gothic distress perfectly, all while being balanced with brutal growl vocals.
The third track, Under Darkened Vaults, which the band debuted on their Bandcamp, contains the most momentum, with even a little chug here and there with some more angular riffs. It is a welcome addition, as is traditional in funeral doom, the guitar can sit back in the mix a bit too much. It’s a very well-placed final track on a monster of a debut.
This is less a descent into the grave but a miserable return to Castle De Haar (a metal-as-fuck looking castle where these guys hail from) set in the kind of hellscape the cover art shows.
Scribed by: James Bullock