If the prerequisites of funeral doom were limited to the effectiveness of creating a sonic dirge, then Highgate's debut would be a considerably praised release. One 54 minute track of slow, atmospheric funeral doom with some black metal influence evident mostly in the vocal style.
What makes this album/song fall short of greatness is that ever common problem with many doom releases - a tendency to do nothing unique and innovative. The album has about eight seperate parts that are segued into one by electronic noise/feedback, and as a whole this works rather well, whether it can be considered as a whole or fragmented collection of songs scrambled into one isn't too much of an issue for me. Of course, others would look at a 54 minute doom song and walk away, and true, this is bleak and typically depressing stuff.
The vocals reflect a sense of despair and desperation, sometimes rough, sometimes ecstatic in screams. The instruments accompany the vocals quite well generally, though as noted already, there's no real standout moments in this album. Now and then is an engaging sequence, but often it is short lived before diving back into the repetitive nature doom can be known for.
Overall, if you're a fan of long, cathartic exercises in doom metal, and don't mind unhinged lyricists and a bit of repetition, this release may well be for you.
As for me, I'm split between a 3 and a 3.5 on this one, I may change the rating later on.