Monday, June 16, 2014

Profetus' As All Seasons Die

...To Open The Passages in Dusk, for some reason or another, never grabbed my attention. I've got a copy of it on vinyl but I've never taken it out of the sleeve to put on the table. My listening time is valuable, and I don't like to spin records that don't affect me emotionally/psychologically, and that one just never did.  

It's a bummer because there's, in my opinion, not enough funeral doom to be heard, and when a band records funeral doom of Profetus' variety, with high production value, it's really a shame when it's monotonous (and no, not all funeral doom is monotonous, believe it or not).  Thankfully we have Mournful Congregation, Skepticism and Ahab to turn to when pickings get slim.  But it's still nice to get a different artist in the mix every once in a while.  Like Loss in 2011. And like Profetus in 2014.   

As All Seasons Die is an improvement over ...To Open the Passages in Dusk. It's the third full length from the funeral doom outfit from Tampere, Finland, where the snow lasts from late November to early April.  It's not nearly as lengthy.  It's thirty-six minutes instead of fifty-eight, so it doesn't drag on as long, and it feels like it's more crafted.  

Profetus' music is heavy, plodding and burdensome, but it's not of the impenetrable wall of sound variety like Evoken or The Call of the Wretched Sea/The Divinity of Oceans-era Ahab.  Profetus' music, while certainly heavy, has a rather serene aspect to it that isn't found in most doom metal.  It's mesmeric and immersive.  The listener is swept away in it and carried off to some far away place that isn't exactly inviting, nor uninviting, but arcane.  Most funeral doom is just doleful and depressing.  Profetus' is not.  It's more mysterious and introspective.  Forlorn, perhaps, and somber, but not 'I want to go kill myself' depressing.     

"The Rebirth of Sorrow," "Dead Are Our Leaves of Autumn" and the last five minutes of "The Dire Womb of Winter" are particularly mysterious and at times damn near spellbinding.  The solo in "Dead Are Our Leaves of Autumn" is very Mournful Congregation-esque (it reminds me a lot of the solo in "The Waterless Streams").  The spoken word chants add to the mystique.  I must say, I like the sparseness of death growls.  They're fine where they are, but the spoken vocals better compliment the album's atmosphere. 

This isn't an immaculate album, but parts of it are definitely worth listening to.  There is a chance it could win Best Funeral Doom Album of 2014, but it will have to beat out Concrescence of the Sophia and Skepticism's and Aldebaran's upcoming albums.  It's so rare for a funeral doom album to remain captivating throughout its entirety.  We have to select the parts we like and return to them over and over.  And I'm completely content doing this because the parts worth returning to are so, so good.


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