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SKEPTICISM - Stormcrowfleet cover
4.41 | 12 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 1995


1. Sign of a Storm (10:10)
2. Pouring (8:45)
3. By Silent Wings (7:03)
4. The Rising of the Flames (11:28)
5. The Gallant Crow (7:36)
6. The Everdarkgreen (12:15)

Total Time: 57:19


- Lasse Pelkonen / Drums
- Jani Kekarainen / Guitars
- Eero Pöyry / Keyboards
- Matti Tilaeus / Vocals

Additional musicians:
- J. Korpihete / Bass

About this release

Red Stream Inc., 1995. Reissued and remastered in 2002.

Mastered at Synergy Studios, Harrisburg, PA., 5/95.
Produced by Skepticism.

Graphic assistance by Arts Industria.
Photography by Lihtede Group.

Thanks to Unitron for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

MMA Reviewer's Challenge: Album selected by siLLy puPPy

Doom Metal is a slow and dark genre to begin with, having its start all those years back in 1970 with Black Sabbath's self-titled song from their debut. Sometime in the 90's, however, a handful of bands wanted to go even slower. Adding ambient atmospheric passages to this slow and brooding delivery, bands like Esoteric and Skepticism became known as Funeral Doom.

Skepticism came onto the scene in 1995 with their debut Stormcrowfleet, whose text-less album cover doesn't explain much. The only thing you can really gather from it, is that this is an album shrouded in mystery and darkness. Presented in lo-fi drone, are massive vibrating guitar riffs and lumbering drums. All brought together with low, deep, unintelligible and gravely growls and somber organ and keyboards that are dripping with lugubriousness.

Much of the album strikes up images of a war march, or even old school sci-fi and horror films with the eerie atmosphere. "Pouring" plods along like an army feeling defeated, yet still going out to the desolate battlefield. Meanwhile, "The Rising of the Flames" sounds like a lonely and perilous journey across the ocean, or perhaps in this case, the river styx. Back to the old school sci-fi/horror imagery, I think the final two songs showcase this best, with their majestic yet ominous keyboard use. Sync those keyboards up with a classic sci-fi or horror film from the 50's-80's, and it would really not sound out of place.

Stormcrowfleet is one of the best funeral doom metal albums you'll find, and really puts the "doom" in doom metal. Hope you found this review helpful, feel free to comment!
Skepticism play firmly in the funereal doom style, so those who have heard the likes of Esoteric know what to expect from Stormcrowfleet: expanded tracks, monolithic riffs, and a slow pace that risks crossing over into drone doom. Skepticism offer a rough, lo-fi take on this genre which helps to distinguish their ugly, organic roar from the cleaner, purer tones of drone. Eero Pöyry's keyboards stand in contrast to the gutteral guitar work of Jani Kekarainen to yield an album which disproves any suggestion that funeral doom metal compositions are boring and samey. Yes, these are gloomy dirges, but they're never simply dirges and there's always a bit more to them than just gloom.
Time to explore another funeral doom metal band. Funeral's first two albums gave a brooding atmosphere of brooding lamentations. But let's try a different flavor: Skepticism. Unlike Funeral, Skepticism are given credit where credit is due. It might seem kind of unfair to hog all the attention; but frankly, 'Stormcrowfleet' is a damn good album.

The funeral doom starts right off the bat with "Sign of a Storm". The mournful atmosphere is here as expected, but keyboards are present in the music as well to add a different atmosphere than Funeral has. The keyboard really works wonders in this album as far as generating a thick atmosphere. They seem to generate an image of a mostly gray colored world. The sun is obscured by thick clouds that bring rain. This world is empty of life besides yourself. Even some of the grasses are decaying. Bottom line: you're by yourself walking through the aftermath of World War III, and that is what makes this album so unique. 'Stormcrowfleet' is not about the war but the aftermath.

A nice break after going through two Funeral albums full of lengthy songs is that Skepticism makes notably shorter songs such as "Pouring", "By Silent Wings", and "The Gallant Crow". In "Pouring", the pace is increased to give the atmosphere a regal sounding, underground cult atmosphere supplemented by the pipe organ sounding keyboards. With only one guitar, Skepticism actually do an excellent job of keeping the atmosphere even when the keyboard is absent, though it may be due to the production present.

"By Silent Wings" continues the ceremonial sounds established by the previous song. There's a clear initial pace that changes halfway through the song; and with the pace change, the keyboards change back to the way they sound on "Sign of a Storm", but eventually go back at the 4:47 mark until at one point they seem to layer themselves and ending on the "Sign..." style sound.

"The Rising of the Flames" features slightly faster pace to march by. Eventually, it does slow down to add some welcome variation to the mix. The keyboards develop a memorable section of notes to make this song more memorable. At the 8:07 mark, the keyboards stack up even more to further strengthen the atmosphere. After hearing this song the first time, that keyboard rhythm stuck to my head without me even recalling what song it was from; and at one point, I even thought it came from a Funeral song before realizing that they didn't use keyboards.

"The Gallant Crow" is another track that is really keyboard heavy, perhaps even more so than the previous track. The riff varies, but only very slightly. Actually, it's the final track "The Everdarkgreen" that truly climaxes this album. It starts with with an eerie pipe organ keyboard rhythm accompanied by funeral doom. Even the lyrics go with this post-apocalyptic vision: "As the crowds are now left behind I enter the vastness of green I was weary of all the noise around For my ears silence is the ultimate sound

The forest is around me In silence the pines stand tall With the wind they whisper their tales As their wisdom is everdarkgreen"

Notable variations begin at 2:42 with the timing dropping and riff changing and guitar even trying to stand out more. The keyboards pause at 4:02 to leave the funeral doom to continue on with the drums increased in timing. The timing slows at 5:08, and a swirling wind sound comes in as if to show little dust devils forming with the dust from the ruins around the empty world. The swirling eventually disappears and the keyboards return at 6:46 with the timing increasing once more. After all the lyrics have been said, the slows again with the keyboards keeping their dominant position. As the rest of the song plays out, the keyboards and funeral doom riffs continue to go on until it climaxes and ends at 10:39.

But nay, it is only a false ending. The music starts again to a different key than earlier in the song and different riffs. The keyboards grow strong, but the song fades out ending the album.

There you have it: 'Stormcrowfleet', a truly awesome funeral doom experience worthy of the praise it has gotten. And it's funny too, because on my initial listen I thought it to be mediocre. But was I so wrong! Do not miss this storm!

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