From Funeral Skies

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Band Name The Ethereal
Album Name From Funeral Skies
Type Album
发布日期 十一月 2002
出版公司 NuLLL Records
音乐风格Funeral Doom


1. Beyond All Dreams
2. Your Creation
3. Wish

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评阅 @ Satanicarchangel

15 一月 2014

Essential Nothingness

I’m not going to sit here and talk about how Funeral Skies compares to other of Stijn’s projects, in fact The Ethereal, along with Beyond Black Void is the only project of his I’ve listened to. I had no intention of listening to his work, I really didn’t, I only checked out this release based on several reviews that made it sound potentially interesting. I’m always on the lookout for atmospheric and/or depressive music and The Ethereal seemed to tick all the right boxes for what I look for.

Funeral Skies is essentially a series of drawn out drones that last for a very long time until the music transitions into the next drone and the cycle starts all over again. Funeral Skies strips funeral doom down to its barest essentials, highly repetitious, minimalistic and droning, there’s effectively not much to critique about Funeral Skies because there’s basically not a lot going on. The guitars play a series of endless strung out notes whilst a lead plays slow melodies to harmonize the powerful backdrop of never ending waves of bass and guitar.

Minimalism should never be the sole element behind music, with genres such as funeral doom where minimalistic song writing and heavy use of repetition are paramount to the genre; aspects such as good song writing become highly important, if not essential. Therefore it seems strange that I enjoy Funeral Skies as much as I do, admittedly there’s not much of anything going on here, but I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t some effective and powerful stuff. The atmosphere created conjures up visages of a vast, endless desert of rolling grey sands; entirely devoid of life. It might not sound like the most interesting atmosphere, heck it probably doesn’t even sound like a good atmosphere to most readers out there, but the way Stijn handles it is remarkable. The music here makes no attempt to sound lively, it meanders about at the same gruelling tempo with no direction in site, like walking in the desert, Funeral Skies has got no other purpose except to move forward unto an unseen horizon.

Despite the directionless nature of the music on display here, it surprisingly sounds well thought out and constructed. As though each transition was planned out before hand, each organ note, each wave of guitar was carefully planned out and designed with surgical precision. The music is very structured, with each note transitioning into each other seamlessly. Overall, I’d say Funeral Skies comes together to form one very long piece of music, as much of the songs are interchangeable I’m surprised the tracks weren’t blended together. After all, this strikes me as an album that needs to be listened to in its entirety to get the full effect, to do so would destroy the purpose of this music.

Admittedly this was one of the hardest reviews I’ve ever written, the sheer starkness of the music is significantly difficult to critique as it’s hard to find anything to say about it that doesn’t make it sound boring. The actual music of this record seems to have come second to the powerful atmosphere that this album so perfectly captures; this really is an album to be listened to for the atmosphere alone. This isn’t music for those looking for something fun and catchy to listen to; this is music to become lost within. The endless waves of guitars mixed with sparse keyboard melodies and the occasional low whispered growl serve to create one of the most powerful and poetic atmospheres that have graced my ears. Funeral Skies is funeral doom taken to its logical extreme, the be all, end all of the genre. And whilst I have to be in the right frame of mind to listen to this album as the endless droning is hard to stomach on the best of occasions, I find when my mind longs for something stark and desolate, nothing hits the mark better than this album. With only a few organ notes, a handful of chords and a steady drum beat, Stijn has created one of the most effective albums of all time.

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