Solitude and Suicide
Hypnotic Dirge Records 2009
Out of the cold wastelands of the Canadian North comes the dispiriting black metal of Funeral Fornication. Solitude and Suicide begins somewhat in a misleading manner as the first track, Mother of Peril, is a repetitive and barbaric assault that brings to mind early Tiamat through its use of hollow, hypnotic riffs and chilling melodies though the occasional use of synths throws proceedings into new territory. The Weeping Tree takes the synth utilization to the next logical step but overdoes it a little as the song has a vampyric, almost romantic feel to it as the pace has been slowed and layers of overt emotion have been showered upon this track. However I feel the album finds its true identity and reaches an equilibrium on Veils of Ice that Impersonate Mirrors. Somber black metal with dismal dreariness settles in like a blanket of fog. A faint drum beat, Burzum-ish screeching vocals, melancholic clean guitars and weary melodies cloud our minds like a hypnotic haze, in some ways like modern Xasthur but without sounding like a clone. Channeling Volatile Energy picks up the tempo tiny bit but without sacrificing any of the mounting atmospheric tension, continuing to focus on fuzzy guitars, haunting synths and tortured vocals. Towards the track’s conclusion the pace becomes tempestuous and the riffing, frenzied and ice cold. The drum machine is a little annoying at times but can be forgiven. Nordic riffing and nocturnal moods permeate You Must Admit The Sun Is Dying and we are even treated to a muted guitar solo within the blizzard. The album closes with Let Never A Flower Adorn My Grave, a slowly swimming mixture of writhing electronic ambience and corrosive black metal menace. The washed out drone of white-noise reverb is unsettling. Funeral Fornication stumbles a little bit on this album as this one-man band struggles to find a musical focus but once he achieved it Solitude and Suicide became a solid listen and a triumph of despair. A real drummer or even a more organic sounding drum machine would go along way for Funeral Fornication as well.