Funeral doom, slow, ain’t it! A sub-genre that’s usually home to mournful dirges played out at a snail’s pace and beholden to depression, isolation, regret and remorse is, understandably, not everyone’s cup of tea!
However, Drown’s Subaqueous, a water–based escape into the oceanic depths of human emotion, could be considered somewhat of a funeral doom anomaly. For one, Subaqueous is not as painfully slow as the work of Skepticism or Thergothen (for example) and is surprisingly melodic. The work of Markov Soroka (Tchornobog, Aureole), this deep-dive into often ambient altruism is suffocatingly dense yet blessed with the lightest of touches; somehow reflecting the choppy, tumultuous nature of stormy seas while also channelling the calm tranquillity of an ocean seemingly at rest.
With Esoteric’s Greg Chandler providing a suitably gloomy production, the overwhelming weight of Subaqueous practically invites a state of decompression sickness; such is its ability to fully submerge you in its darkened waters of doom, leaving you frantic and desperate to reach the surface.
Fortunately, the light – when it does appear – is warming and welcome, offering respite from the unnerving submersion that preceded it. Like our unpredictable oceans, Subaqueous is awe-inspiringly beautiful and overwhelmingly frightening in equal measure and the contrasting emotions displayed throughout are part of this albums general appeal.
Never an easy experience, overall this funeral doom epic has managed to settle somewhere between the very depths of despair and the welcoming relief of blinding light and, at just two (all be it long) tracks, Subaqueous is fairly easy to assimilate and shouldn’t deter non-fans of the sub-genre from diving head-first into its multi-faceted waters. 8/10
Subaqueous – The second Drown album was released via Prophecy Productions and Vigor Deconstruct on February 28th.