Combing through devastating darkness searching for shards of light while sonic walls surround with pulsating slow drums, steadily strummed chords, and echoing vocals. This cavernous mood is unique to dark ambient doom duo, FVNERALS, who have returned with their most haunting release yet, Let The Earth Be Silent. Marking their third full length release and 10 years of existing in the metal scene, this album is not to be missed. It has everything established fans of the band are drawn to while diving further into an abyss of gloom making this their heaviest album to date. Lighter elements still remain including ethereal vocals to add a balance and depth which is something to experience and feel through these emotive compositions.
Tiffany Ström (vocals, bass guitar) and Syd Scarlet (guitar) are joined by Thomas Vaccargiu on drums/percussion to create a uniquely macabre album wrapped in an equally macabre package by way of album art by Estonian photographer Anton Novozhilov. Each moment on Let The Earth Be Silent feels like a breath being held in as suspense lurks and lingers without providing a release. Droning atmospherics steadily march along without jarring dramatics, giving listeners time to digest, savor, and appreciate the elements interwoven within each track. There is a gentle flow with slow, steady builds and sustained movements. Nothing is lacking here as the music exists perfectly as it is and creates a comfortably desolate weighted environment.
The first single released from Let The Earth Be Silent was “For Horror Eats the Light” and it perfectly captures the essence of the album. The corresponding music video depicts black and white imagery of flowing, swirling elements which offers a spot-on visual representation of the music. Eventually a figure is seen with these liquid movements washing over them and that is exactly how the track is experienced. The song begins with an eerie siren-esque sound backed by a ringing quiet gong before a subdued spark of guitar and drumming begins with vocals matching the introductory sound. My favorite track of the album is the opener, “Ashen Era.” I adore Ström’s vocals here which are more chant-like and spiritual in nature. This brings a meditational quality which is satisfying against the dark instrumental background of pulsing drums and droning guitar. A variety of this type of vocalization along with lyric driven clean singing and quiet underlying screams are heard throughout the album and deepen the emotions of each piece.
Let The Earth Be Silent is a beautifully solemn release that I already know will be high up on my end of year list for 2023. The bleakness of these tracks is something to sink into and provides a solace of sorts. The weight of the tracks is not crushing but rather akin to the gentle heaviness of a weighted blanket—grounding, familiar, and unchanging. I can already see myself returning to this album again and again throughout this year in good times and bad. I am eager to see what is next for FVNERALS, if this release will be their darkest or if more ghastly releases are in store. Either way, I know it will be artistically driven and beautifully executed. For now, dive into the dark caverns and sink into Let The Earth Be Silent.
Let The Earth Be Silent is available now on Prophecy Productions. For more information on FVNERALS, visit their official website.