Setting a very slow and mournful pace, today we have Belgium’s SLOW and their latest demoralizing release “Abîmes I”. Mastermind Déhà has a knack for unleashing gargantuan releases filled with crushing riffs, vocal extremes, and always a heavy atmospheric component, with this band Funeral Doom is as excruciating and punishing as it gets. With four tracks and nearly 44 minutes of music, this release is as dense as they get, evoking memories of other bands like Shape of Despair and the OGs Thergothon.
Quickly setting a bleak and desolate landscape with “Implode”, the pummeling slow riffs perfectly leadway to hellish growls/screams that are masterfully adorned by minimalistic keyboards. What makes the genre and songs like “Barren” and “Abyss” magical is the interplay between slow melancholic passages that seem to eat time and space and the occasional weeping lead guitars that feel like rays of hope amongst a cloud of darkness.
Extra long Funeral Doom tracks are hard to pull off as they might drown the vibe with monotony and repetitiveness, but as shown in “Collapse”, SLOW is at the top of their game keeping things interesting, engaging, and brutally sorrowful. Déhà and company have managed to top themselves once again with a punishing release that is one of the best in the genre in 2023.
|Album: Abîmes I
Label: Aural Music
Release: December 8th, 2023
Genre: Atmospheric/Funeral Doom Metal