ABYSSMAL SORROW — Lament (review)

ABYSSMAL SORROW — Lament album cover Album · 2008 · Funeral Doom Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Wilytank
I've been doing a good streak of funeral doom listens, but now I'm writing a review for Abyssmal Sorrow's 'Lament'. While the majority of bands out there have their funeral doom played in the tone of death metal, Abyssmal Sorrow play with a black metal tone. No, they are not the first band to do so; but 'Lament' still is one awesome melancholic trip all the same.

They take a direct approach in on "Bound by Lifeless Affliction". All instruments fading in out from nothing. The black metal inspired variant of funeral doom is quite distinguishable here. You still have the slow tempo and sorrowful tone. There's even keyboards. But instead of the plodding heavyness of most funeral doom guitars, the guitars are much more melodic sounding, even in the rhythm section. Plus, the vocals are in black metal shrieks, though with something of an echo effect applied to them. All these factors make this black metal variant of funeral doom just as, if not MORE, sorrowful sounding than the more death metal sounding bands.

Next, there is "Requiem For the Dying Moon". A lighter sounding strumming of guitars makes for a much more notable intro, and it's so nice that I don't even mind it going on for a minute and a half. The song's longer than 10 minutes anyway, so there's plenty of time to spare. At the 8 minute mark, the calmer sounding guitar comes back and soon plays along with the drums, keyboards, and vocals too. A black metal guitar is played too, but the calm guitar thankfully keeps playing right to the end of this song. It even ends unaccompanied starting at the 10:21 mark to give the song a proper sorrowful tone to go out on.

The calm guitar comes back again to introduce "Cavernous Sorrow and Worthlessness", and it plays a mournful rhythm that has really stuck to my head. This rhythm stays with the song when the rest of the instruments come in. It does change around the 1:24 mark, which is always good to keep the song from getting monotonous. The original melody returns around the 4:11 mark, but is initially played by one of the black metal guitars. When the rest of the music finally stops, the calm guitar plays that beautiful rhythm that has stuck to my head ever since.

"Echoes Through the Field of Death" begins without any calm guitar. There's a melodic rhythm that starts out the song and returns at a certain point, but there is variation. Near the half way point of the 6th minute, the calm guitar does return to introduce one rhythm which is again continued when the rest of the instruments come back. The songs sticks to this rhythm and ends with it.

The remaining two songs both bear the "Austere Lament" name. The first is an instrumental and is dominated by that calm guitar that I've come to really appreciate. There's also a rainy effect. Around the later end of the song, there's a sample of a despondent man talking of (and actually acting out) killing himself. When part two comes in, it begins with keyboards fading in and the rest of the music clapping in like a clap of thunder. At 12 minutes, it's the longest song on the album. To make it seem longer, sections of the song have sparse work on the cymbals on the drumming. This makes it feel like I'm ascending out of a valley of darkness and sorrow (corny right? I know.) when they cymbals start again just to fall back in when the cymbals are dropped once more. And once again, the calm guitars signal a rhythm change. They begin at the 7:29 mark. This rhythm goes on accompanied for a little over a minute before being followed up by the rest of the music. This is the final rhythm of the song as it is not discarded for the rest of the song. The calm guitars that come back at the 10:21 mark do change up the rhythm by playing the notes a little more articulately, but the basic rhythm remains the same for the rest of the song.

This funeral doom metal album is very sorrowful, very mournful, and very impressive. It's a rare one to be sure, but not one that fans of funeral doom metal want to miss out on. It's really too bad the band didn't stick around long enough to record any other albums, but maybe it might be better that way because 'Lament' as a standalone album might actually be better when not compared to anything that might have come afterward.
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