Funeral – To Mourn Is A Virtue
Funeral Doom is an interesting genre, while it can be powerful and emotionally stirring, it can also be extremely boring. The music is meant to be slow, but should it really feel like its slow? The music should be engaging enough to make excite the listener.
One of the original bands to explore the genre is Norway’s aptly titled Funeral and they are one of those bands that know how to make this music exciting, and they do just that with their latest release “To Mourn is a Virtue.”
The album is actually a collection of unreleased demo-recordings, and it contains nine previously unreleased tracks recorded between 1996 and 2004, all of which were remastered in 2010. While the band has evolved into a more Death Metal influenced Doom band, this album documents their start in the Funeral/Classic Doom style.
The music here is a mix of acoustic passages, slow, glacial drumming, heavy riffing and dark, melancholic vocals and together it creates that atmosphere I crave from my music. For me, the mark of a great record is its power to affect me at an emotional level, its cathartic in that the darkness helps exercise my own demons and I actually come away from it refreshed and this album does that at times. While some of the songs are a little weak and there are moments where I’m not sure what the band was thinking, this is overall an excellent release.
The Funeral Doom genre is not for the casually listener. It takes a bit of commitment and an interest in the various extremes of metal, but for those with the patience and willingness to explore those extremes, it can be extremely rewarding. If you’re up for the challenge, I would highly recommend “To Mourn is a Virtue.”