06 May 2022 - Knut
| Meuse Music Records | Release date: 06 May 2022
Funeral Doom Metal, when done right, is like an extensive melodic symphonic adagio filled with reflection, sadness and sorrow. At the same time, it brings tranquility and equilibrium to the listener. And that is exactly what Rise to the Sky´s last release does. It slowly pans out like an introspective story about farewells, or one might say, farewell letters.
The creative outpour that flows from the multitalented Sergio González Catalán, or Sergio G. from Santiago, Chile is quite unbelievable. He founded this one-person band in 2019 and, before this new album, has released four full lengths, two EPs and some singles. And he even has a side project, Winds of Tragedy. He composes the music and plays all the instruments. On this one he has brought in a drummer, the experienced Portugese Emidio Ramos.
Through all their musical releases, the band´s sound has somewhat used elements of Doom Metal and Death Metal, moved towards Atmospheric Death Metal and now taken full steps into Funeral Doom Metal with vast melodies, growling vocals, slow, distorted guitars, gloomy synths and strings with a very noticeable cello. But what also makes this album stand out is the way the acoustic guitar is immersed in the sonics.
On the first track, the nine minute-long ”Every Day, A Funeral”, the distorted guitar-based doomy sonics fade away to give room to a beautifully played acoustic guitar together with clean electric guitars and even a piano in the mix. This is after the song has opened with wind sounds and a slow melodic cello to bring us into the dark and contemplative soundscape. A heavy distorted guitar infuses a doomy atmosphere before the ambience lightens with a guitar which slowly plays a melodic theme which all the instruments follow in the pace of a funeral march while the deep growling from the start returns. After the acoustic part, it picks up pace with fast drums and slow riffs that lead to a floating synth closing the song while the cello and the winds return.
The acoustic instruments are also a distinct part of the second song, ”It’s the End”, as harpsicord sounds slowly open the track before the funeral doom sonics are established with the heavy guitars and synths. At the same time, there is a guitar slowly hanging on to a somber melodic theme. Even if the drums are close to blast mode, the music opens up a broad cinematic soundscape when the strings join in to take part in the vast sonics to support the deep growling.
Synths, electric and acoustic guitar lead us into the third track ”Just Say Goodbye”. Only the slow pace reminds us of Funeral Doom as the guitars play over the fast-paced drums. It all purveys an orchestral ambience before the distorted guitars take over the melodic theme and chugg into some widespread heavy sonics. It ends quite quickly with blast drums pushing on towards the end.
The next track is a showpiece of how this kind of music is both depressive in its gloom, but also beautiful and contemplative like an immersive symphonic piece. ”Abandoned” opens with synths and cello in slow tempo before the heavy guitars drag it all toward the growling vocals. A solo guitar pierces through the darkness, lifting the melodic theme and dragging it along the cinematic melody which glides into a synth soundscape in the end.
”Sadness Cries in the Silent Sky” dives straight into the shadows of doomy soundscapes, only a solo guitar spreading light as it glides forward over the darkness. Below it there are many layers of heavy guitars pushing the drums. As with the other tracks the melodic theme of the track lifts it up and above the incredible gloomy sonics. ”I Can See You When I Dream” begins with synths leading the theme of the track before drums and cello pave the way for a tsunami of heavy guitars. The cello holds up and, with the melodic theme, drags the other instruments along a path of captivating doom metal accompanied by the ever-present deep vocals until it closes with cello and synths.
The album ends with the short ”Epilogue” which is an acoustic track with acoustic guitars answering each other over a cello making way for some reflective spoken words. It is a beautiful end to the album and demonstrates the guitar skills of the artist behind this work of art.
As with many albums these days, this is an album to listen to in its entirety because each song and each element of the music is reflecting and integrated in each other. It is a musical piece in seven moments to listen to as you lean back in an induced meditative state floating along with the music to reach some inner reflective peace. Metal-related music can work like that when done the way Rise to the Sky do it.