Until Death Overtakes Me - Prelude to Monolith (2003)Release ID: 23739
For my money, funeral doom metal is possibly the most primal of all metal genres. The immense crushing weight it conveys speaks of the unimaginably massive forces that shaped our world and, indeed, the universe itself back in the furthest aeons of time. There is also a form of funeral doom that is less heavy but, in a way, is almost spiritual in what it calls to within those willing to receive it. When I say spiritual, I don't mean in a, for want of a better word, "god-centric" way. This type of spirituality predates any man-made anthroporphism of the forces at work and instead speaks to an interconnectedness with the flow and essence of these inconceivable forces and energies that is buried deep inside all of us.
Until Death Overtakes Me's Prelude to Monolith is exactly one such release. It's iteration of funeral doom is not going to leave you gasping for air like an Esoteric or Ahab album, for it's touch is not quite as pulverisingly massive. Rather, it draws on dark ambient for inspiration and weaves it throughout it's sixty-eight minutes with the effect of leavening some of the sheer weight with lighter, more ethereal threads. There is a "booming" nature to the drum sound that is suggestive of tympani drums and that always adds an esoteric (small "e") atmosphere and that is reinforced by the sometimes barely perceptible rumble of the vocals. Overlaying this is a thin keyboard drone that is reminiscent of Thergothon's Stream From the Heavens. The whole effect makes for a remarkably relaxing-sounding album that cradles and croons rather than overwhelms the listener, allowing them to touch the infinite, if only for a mere heavenly hour!