Slow - VI Dantalion

08 Nov 2019 - Thorsten

Funeral-Doom | code666 | Release date: 08 Nov 2019

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Belgium’s best Funeral Doom band is back and releases a new variation of some former songs. Awesome.

Some people say that Type O Negative was nothing more than a phenom of its own time. However, the author of these lines must deny that because they laid the foundation for something that they didn’t witness – a genre called Funeral Doom. With a lot of these bands you can audibly hear the footsteps of Pete Steele and his comrades; those bands use some of Type O’s backgrounds – the drones, the pianos, the string sections – and place them straight in front of the audience in the foreground.

That can also be said for Belgian duo Slow (according to the band that is short for ‘Silence lives over/out Whirlpool’) and they are very much ahead of their game competing with forerunners Bell Witch on this record. However, there is a difference in the soundscapes of both bands. Bell Witch’s music relies heavily on the use of a gigantic bass guitar while Slow use the piano to their advantage. Nearly every track starts with a single piano motif introducing the song before another instrument or the vocals take over and bully the piano into the background. Nevertheless, it is always present – which is a compliment to the producer and the mastering engineer. Under all these waves of sound the keys are the quicksand the listener is sinking in like a seductive pillow not knowing that for the next 78 minutes he cannot escape.

The minute changes in dynamics that either ‘speed up’ or (more often) ‘slow down’ a track are their biggest strength. Sometimes they are able to intensify the urgency of the song by simply reducing the tempo by a beat (which is a lot in this genre). The emphatic way they embed the strings into the cascades of growls, riffs and drums can match any band’s. The simple yet very effective riffs are a sight to behold:

Cascading lava is rolling down the mountain towards the eye and ears and in the background the music is underlining the visible event – not marking it as a catastrophe but as a unique moment the human eye usually only witnesses once. Slow(ly) the liquid fire is encroaching on the house and then finally surrounding it on all sides while the candles are burning indoors. Knowing that there is nothing left to do, the mind lies down to rest, the head lies down on the soft pillow on the ottoman sofa. The air is heating up, the oxygen is being used predominantly by the candles burning down and the fire outside creeping up the walls. Slow(ly) everything is good.