SKEPTICISM

Funeral Doom Metal • Finland
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Finland's Skepticism is one of the pioneers of funeral doom metal. Combining painfully slow Doom/Death Metal styled riffs, solemn keyboards and sparse percussion with deep growling, boundaries were pushed once again.

The band uses four instruments: drums, played with felt beaters, keyboards with organ pedals, guitar, and vocals. With this, they create songs that are both within the range of contemporary doom metal in terms of heaviness and slowness, yet far beyond the range of others where atmosphere and sound is considered.

Besides the music, Skepticism purposefully create a mysterious and abstract atmosphere, in terms of lyrics, artwork, contact with the outside world, and performance.
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SKEPTICISM Discography

SKEPTICISM albums / top albums

SKEPTICISM Stormcrowfleet album cover 4.41 | 12 ratings
Stormcrowfleet
Funeral Doom Metal 1995
SKEPTICISM Lead and Aether album cover 3.68 | 4 ratings
Lead and Aether
Funeral Doom Metal 1998
SKEPTICISM Farmakon album cover 4.33 | 2 ratings
Farmakon
Funeral Doom Metal 2003
SKEPTICISM Alloy album cover 4.92 | 2 ratings
Alloy
Funeral Doom Metal 2008
SKEPTICISM Ordeal album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ordeal
Funeral Doom Metal 2015
SKEPTICISM Companion album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Companion
Funeral Doom Metal 2021

SKEPTICISM EPs & splits

SKEPTICISM Aeothe Kaear album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Aeothe Kaear
Funeral Doom Metal 1994
SKEPTICISM Ethere album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ethere
Funeral Doom Metal 1997
SKEPTICISM Aes album cover 4.42 | 2 ratings
Aes
Funeral Doom Metal 1999
SKEPTICISM The Process of Farmakon album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Process of Farmakon
Funeral Doom Metal 2002

SKEPTICISM live albums

SKEPTICISM Ordeal album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Ordeal
Funeral Doom Metal 2015

SKEPTICISM demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

SKEPTICISM re-issues & compilations

SKEPTICISM singles (0)

SKEPTICISM movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

SKEPTICISM Reviews

SKEPTICISM Stormcrowfleet

Album · 1995 · Funeral Doom Metal
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Unitron
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 Lead and Aether

Album · 1998 · Funeral Doom Metal
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Warthur
Skepticism's debut was such a strong funeral doom album that they could have persisted in a purist funeral doom style forever, which is why I kind of respect them for getting a bit experimental with their influences on Lead & Aether, even if I find the results a bit middling. With shorter compositions in general (by funeral doom standards), the band take the time to work in a range of additional styles (including a bit of world music) to add additional accents to their funeral doom foundation. However, the album seems to lose my interest a little more easily than the debut does, and in particular the mixing of the vocals makes them feel weak and overwhelmed and not in a good way.

SKEPTICISM Stormcrowfleet

Album · 1995 · Funeral Doom Metal
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Warthur
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.

SKEPTICISM Alloy

Album · 2008 · Funeral Doom Metal
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Wilytank
Five years after 'Farmakon', here comes Skepticism again with another release. In 'Farmakon' I was somewhat turned off by how the keyboards tried to dominate the music in places. Here in 'Alloy', the guitar production has been improved to compensate to make this a much better album. And when I say much better, I mean really.

Arriving at "The Arrival", the guitar is more prominent than the organ keyboards. The vocals are also less low sounding and less monotone. Kind of a shock at first, but I've gotten used to it. Another interesting shocker is that this is an organ based song; and whenever Skepticism does one of these, it's usually scary sounding. However, this song is downright melancholic regardless of how clean the production sounds. 3:48 starts a sorrowful sounding guitar solo to furthur show off the cleaner sounding guitar.

"March October" starts off more atmospheric like. With low rumbling and clean sounding guitar for the first minute before breaking into rhythmic chugging broken up by the slamming on the organ keys. The organs in this song return the scary factor to the music that I'm used to with the organ in Skepticism. For some reason though, I feel that some one of the riffs here was recycled from "Forge" from 'Lead and Aether'. Then at 4:18, the song hits its essential transition to a more melancholic sound only to change back as the song reaches the the 5:40 mark. Soon after though, a guitar lead starts up to keep things interesting. It only sticks around for about a minute before the keys transition the song once more to a different key. Throughout the rest of the song, the riffs get more intense and a guitar solo comes along, but it eventually returns to the initial chugging style.

"Antimony" begins with low bass growling with scary organ keyboards. This song is very strongly organ oriented at first, but nearing and after the 3 minute mark the guitar takes the dominant position and at that point, the song starts to get lighter sounding. Noticeable parts of the song totally lack the organ altogether, but it returns to its scary sounding original line at the 6:09 mark. The song doesn't end that way though. It ends on a low bass tone instead fading away.

Skepticism's other keyboard sound, their more ambient sounding kind, finally makes a return in "The Curtain" to layer on some lighter sounding atmosphere and give the organ a break. This is probably the least negative sounding (so to speak) song on the album. The keyboards give that natural feel that Skepticism are known for, but instead of rainy day mood, it's more of a partly cloudy type mood. The music is kept in this type of mood as we go into the penultimate track, "Pendulum". As we go into this song, the keys sound like string instruments to keep the partly cloudy tone, but more melancholic sounding. Around the 2 and a half minute mark, the song speeds up with the keys playing some beautiful notes and the guitar eventually catching up. Through other transitions, "Pendulum" is able to get my full attention and be my favorite song on the album.

That leaves only "Oars in the Dusk". The organs return here, but they swap places with the ambient sounding keys occasionally. Incidentally, this organ based song is more melancholic sounding much like "The Arrival". Around the three minute mark, we also have clean sounding guitar to break up the procession. There's variations a plenty to keep this song interesting including leading tones on the guitar. As the song reaches it's finally minutes, the guitar riffs get stronger and faster with organs pounding and Matti going through his final lines all to end on a single organ note. At this point, I'd break this paragraph off because the last song on the last three Skepticism albums ends, then starts again to finish off the album. That doesn't happen here on 'Alloy'.

'Alloy' is a Skepticism album that sounds least like a Skepticism album, but there is nothing wrong with that. These songs are really awesome in their own right, especially the last three. I actually wouldn't mind if Skepticism called it quits with this as their last album, but I do hope they make more music.

SKEPTICISM Farmakon

Album · 2003 · Funeral Doom Metal
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Wilytank
With 'Farmakon', Skepticism take on a slightly cleaner sound that features a somewhat clearer tone of their dreamy weirdness. For whatever a reason, this clearer tone made this album a little harder to digest, but it turned out just fine. After all, it's Skepticism we're talking about. It's 2001 at this point, and the band's been at this for quite some time.

The organs on "The Raven and the Backward Funeral" kicks this off. Mostly, the pipe organs in Skepticism songs make it sound scarier, and at certain sections here they do; but they also make the song sound regal. The song is broken up by periods of calm acoustic guitar with drums in the background so that the song still has the necessary melancholic feel. These calmer guitars are present at the start of the next song, "Shred of Light, Pinch of Endless". However, at this point, the organs are replaced by the ambiance keyboards that Skepticism are also known for.

The atmosphere generated remains light sounding and natural as usual for Skepticism, as if the pictures they paint with the atmosphere involve rain. The mixture of calm guitar and keyboards give it the sad rainy day feel while the guitar again and the drums give it the natural feel.

So why does this album not get as good of a score as the two before it? Well, like I said, it's hard to take in even compared to Skepticism's other works. There's definitely more atmosphere and less funeral doom involved. Though I like the atmosphere, it can seem a little overbearing. Look at the so-called "untitled" track. For the first two or so minutes, it's just ambient. And even after that, the ambiance keyboards are really overbearing. I feel like they could have gotten a better result if they kept them more in the back like they did with their other songs from the past years. On the other hand, I don't really dislike it either. It's decent enough to prevent this album from falling bellow the 90 percentile, which is pretty good.

I do like the continuation of the delayed ending on the final song. On "Nothing", the keyboards get intense and loud (but they were like this on the climax on the last songs on the previous albums), then it ends. After a few minutes, the music starts again to play out a final segment before fading away.

In the end, 'Farmakon' is a win/win situation, but ultimately not as noteworthy as 'Stormcrowfleet' or 'Lead and Aether'. Oh well, it's still great for what it is, and I'm glad to see that Skepticism is still playing on.

SKEPTICISM Movies Reviews

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SKEPTICISM Shouts

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UMUR wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Thanks for reporting. Please do report other missing info in the forum though.
alexius108 wrote:
more than 2 years ago
In 2015 one more album was released, "Ordeal", please add it to the discography.

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