Album Review: FVNERALS — “Let The Earth Be Silent”

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.  

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Album RAMBLE: Katatonia — “Sky Void of Stars”

For Katatonia‘s 13th full length, Sky Void of Stars, we (as in the Top Brass, Benevolent Overlords, etc: Corey, Dan K, Chris, and Josh) decided to capitalize on something we’ve done so many times with this band’s discography; get together over a chat, pour way too many drinks for ourselves, and talk Katatonia. This time around, it only felt right to share that experience with all of you: the first ever Top Brass collaborative review ramble, as it were. If you’ve been following along, our love of all things Katatonia is not subtle. We’ve featured them many times over the years, photographed them, and generally love everything they’ve done from their early death / doom days to their ever-evolving gloom-goth-progressive-metal-rock that seems to only get better the longer they exist. We won’t give too much away ahead of the ramble you’re about to dive into headfirst, but suffice it to say, Sky Void of Stars is the album we needed right now. And let’s be real, this will probably be the first of several drunken nights we spend discussing this album’s place in the Katatonia pantheon. But for now, without further ado, we present our rambles…

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Album Review:  Gavran — “Indistinct Beacon”

Bringing vast, passionate, doom-filled angst, Dutch doom/sludge trio Gavran has emerged with their sophomore album Indistinct Beacon.  Fairly new to the metal scene, the band’s debut LP was released in 2020 and their momentum has not ceased.  Continuing to develop a listenership, this release is sure to bring many new fans as these five immersive tracks are expertly crafted and executed.  With a vocal variety including raspy screams, haunting clean singing, as well as spoken word, the poetic nature of Gavran’s lyrics are beautifully displayed.  Doom riffs, palpitating drums with a bassline to match, and screams pack a punch while quieter moments contain echoing vocals and pensive melodies.  Each track expands and contracts with the weight of the music and the journey of Indistinct Beacon is something to experience and enjoy.

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Album Review: Elder — “Innate Passage”

Elder - Innate Passage

To steal a quote about another band from the late great DJ John Peel, listening to a new Elder album is always different and always the same. It may be familiar but there’s always something different to be found. Every album is its own unique journey. It may be easy to go “Ho hum, Innate Passage is yet another excellent Elder album,” but doing so ignores this is a phenomenal album.

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Album Review: In the Woods… — “Diversum”

in the woods - diversum

If they had done nothing but their seminal 1997 release Omnio, Norway’s In the Woods… would still sit at the table of the genre’s movers and shakers, creating a fresh mix of black metal, doom, folk, and progressive metal that didn’t sound like anyone else at the time. The 17 year gap between albums that led to 2016’s Pure was almost too much to bear, but the wait was worth it, and since then the band has shown it doesn’t intend to let that gap come again, even as members come and go. Latest offering Diversum may feature a new vocalist in Bernt Fjellestad, but the core from 2018’s Cease the Day (reviewed here) remains and the music is just as driving, somber, and heavy as anything the band has released to date.

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