Genre: funeral doom metal
Heavy metal music distinguishes itself from more mainstream types of popular music via its focus on darker emotions, such as anger, fear, hate and so on. Within the universe of heave metal, doom metal sets itself apart from most other metal genres by not focusing on aggressive emotions, but rather on melancholy, sadness, sorrow, depression, solutide and the like. And, if there is one release that almost perfectly captures sadness, then it must be the British doom act Eye of Solitude's Sui Caedere.
While labeled a funeral doom band, Eye of Solitide's music never reaches the painfully slow rhythms otherwise associated with funeral doom (think, for instance, Mournful Congregation), but they do very successfully capture the painfully melancholic and near-depressive atmosphere of funeral doom metal. And, mind you that, in a doom metal context, describing music as painful is a complement! With songs that are generally longer than 7 minutes, The Eye of Solitude have taken their doom metal in a near-epic direction, and the use of darkly lush harmonies and atmoospheric synths contribute even more to this epic character.
While not as torturingly slow as a lot of other funeral doom metal, the music on Sui Caedere is still slow and heavy (although Eye of Solitude do venture into some near-blastbeat passages every now and then), and, most importantly, it captures the dirge-like melody of the funeral doom genre. In fact, Sui Caedere is a very melodic album, which is of course not unexpected if you are already a fan of funeral doom, but mainstream popheads might be taken totally aback by the many melodic guitar harmonies on this album (te pophead probably still won't get it, though).
So, yes, this is heavy, slow, melodic and depressive. Just my cup of tea. The only thing that is a bit of a turn-off to me on this album is the brutally growled vocals. I just do not think that the vocals fit the music the way it should sound in my world. At the end of the day, it all comes down to taste, and I feel like I should apologize to vocalist Daniel Neagoe and the rest of the band, because Neagoe's brutal growls are not bad at all – in fact, he would be perfect in a brutal death metal band, and his growling bears the same brutal quality as the of Mikael Åkerfeldt (and, in all honesty, his growles are much better than what you hear in so many other contemporary extreme metal bands). It is just that, I – for some reason – have a hard time appreciating growls in doom metal. This has nothing to do with Neagoe or the band, and I am sure that most other listeners will totally dig the combination of Neagoe's brutal growls and the melancholically melodic music of Eye of Solitude. So, please check it out for yourself.
Anyway, on the whole, Sui Caedere is a very well put together depressive doom metal release. The music is lush and has a rich texture, but it is dark and depressive, and painfully haunting (remember, in doom metal, painful is good). And, if you like brutal growls in doom metal, then you are definitely in for a treat.
(review originally posted at seaoftranquility.org)