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Album Review

Anyone acquainted with the funeral doom genre will tell you (at least if they're being honest) that listening to albums like Loss' 2011 full-length debut, Despond, is a feat of physical endurance as much as listening enjoyment. No matter how good the band and album may be, it just takes a special kind of music fan to weather the sluggish, quasi-dead tempos, endure the crushing instrumentation and soul-snuffing croaks, and wallow in the melodies' abject misery, if they're lucky enough to get any melodies at all. To that point, this Nashville quartet actually excels at developing the melodic portion of the funeral doom equation, crafting not only densely layered harmonic themes but sparse and surprisingly deft guitar lines to help shorten the yawning gulf between snare drum smacks, and provide contrasts for the crushing, detuned bass and cavernous vocals grinding underneath. At their best, the group's epic funeral marches (e.g. "Open Veins to a Curtain Closed," "Cut Up Depressed and Alone," "Conceptual Funeralism Unto the Final Act (Of Being)," etc.) teem with a sullen gravitas, suicidal inevitability, and sheer horror in the face of death's embrace, belying those comparatively fetching melodies (calling them "sublime" or "lovely" would be a stretch) that in fact pervade them. Near the end, Loss even dare break with tradition via the clean sung vocal of "Silent and Completely Overcome" (so exotic!) and, nestled amid these drawn-out expositions one also finds surprisingly memorable interludes like the cryptic "Weathering the Blight," the cyclone-like "Deprived of the Void," and piano-based title track that, for once, really assists in the album's overall flow, rather than interrupt it. In the end, one just hopes that these melodic strengths and occasional experiments are embraced instead of rejected by funeral doom purists, because Despond has the potential to welcome new many new fans into the style's cobwebbed catacombs.

Customer Reviews

Most people...

...probably won't like this but I think that it's great. I love the moody tempo and gutteral vocals. There is an oppressive and smothering tone to the album and that's the way doom should be. I also want to comment on the fact that Profound Lore is becoming one of my favorite labels because all the bands that I have heard from their label is great. I hope that they keep pounding out the underground and continue to avoid trends. This is great stuff for the doom-lover..

Wonderful Funeral Doom

I had been hearing quite a bit about this band recently so I decided to give it a listen. After listening to it twice back to back I see this becoming one of my favorite albums. The music is beautifully depressing, slow & heavy, dark & brutal. If you are a fan of Funeral Doom or even Death Doom you owe it to yourself to own this album. Gets my vote for album of the year indefinitely.

Really good but.....

Really slow. You definitely can't work out to this music, in fact, I don't know how these guys can even play this stuff live? Despite all of that, this album is really cool and moody, well worth a listen.

Despond, Loss
View In iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Metal, Music, Rock
  • Released: May 31, 2011

Customer Ratings