Death isn’t really supposed to be funny or pleasurable or exciting, and with good reason because it means our demise. Funerals aren’t parties, for the most part, and plenty of people have crippling bouts of anxiety just thinking about one’s life actions ceasing. That’s why it’s so fascinating that something like metal, so obsessed with death, can be such a comforting thing.
Funeral doom is just one sub-category of the ever-branching doom metal world, and it’s grown in popularity and membership with awesome bands such as Mournful Congregation, the late Asunder, Loss, and Lycus, just to name a few. The music tends to be slow and miserable, and every fiber of your being is bombarded with the fact that we all one day will expire. There is nothing we can do about it. We’re out of here one day, and who knows what’s next, if anything at all? Try to think about that all day long and see if you don’t start to shiver at your core. But if you do, bands such as these can identify with that emotion, as well as the general pain of just being alive and facing insurmountable obstacles. Life can suck sometimes, and these bands fucking know it.
That brings us to Ephemeros, the Portland, Ore., based band that’s made up of members of other notable acts such as Graves at Sea, Uzala, Nux Vomica, and Elitist who have formed an already devastating band that brings the depression and anxiety that is death right in front of you. Their style of funeral doom is elegant and atmospheric, feeling like a long, cold journey you take to the end of the world, where you just drop off, never to be heard from again. And maybe no one even cares. It also has a sense of craziness and lack of being able to deal mentally. I feel all of that and more on “All Hail Corrosion,” the band’s debut full-length record that was righteously scooped up by Seventh Rule. Over these three, epic, pain-ridden songs, you feel every bit of burn, anger, fear, and sadness these fellows jammed into this thing, and while it won’t fill you with happiness and hope inside, it might help you face and identify your inner fears, maybe even toppling them. Or you’ll just discover a great piece of doom metal from a new, very promising band.
The ranks of this Ephemeros doom machine goes like this: You have Joshua Greene on vocals, Jesse Aspy and Chris Trumpower on guitars, Garrett Bagniefski on bass, and Chuck Watkins on drums. Together, they’ll make you feel really bad, conjure thoughts you would prefer to keep buried, and destroy your senses with sounds that make it seem like your soul is being ripped apart.
The title cut is the first thing that greets you, and it has a liquidy, foggy sound that wobbles slowly and creepily, feeling like deathrock at times. But any cleanliness or serenity is completely destroyed when the song explodes, and Greene’s tortured wails take center stage, feeling ominous and horrible. Somber melodies float beneath the chaos, instilling the proper amount of sadness into what’s heavy and unforgiving elsewhere, and it lets streams of black and blue trickle together and carry you under the waves. Deranged ranting at the song’s conclusion gives the sense of mental breakdown, that sense of something horrible that perhaps is a little too much for the psyche. It’s effective and disturbing.
“Stillborn Workhorse” drives slowly, with low-level growls rumbling, ceremonial-style melodies, and eventually Greene having another mental explosion with wild growls and shrieks. The song slips into an extended period of mournful funeral doom that’s easy to get lost inside of and suffocated by the oppressive power, but it’s also gorgeously played and melodic as well, unafraid to let some beauty into the room. Closer “Soilbringer” is the culmination of everything you’ve heard so far, and then some. Greene completely loses it on this one, as he growls, in as deranged a voice possible, “I watched the world die!” He isn’t being dramatic as a put on. You really feel like you’re trapped inside the mind of person losing grip with reality and about to fall forever into an abyss, never to touch ground again. The rest of the song unfurls with great power and deathly glory, and before it expires, it gives you another reminder of why this band’s already got a massive, steady grip on their artistic output and exactly how they want to make you feel.
Ephemeros is a mighty new addition to the funeral doom world and another strong signing for Seventh Rule. This band culled their years of experience in other challenging bands and poured everything they had haunting them into “All Hail Corrosion,” a record that, along with Lycus’ debut album, is the most impressive funeral doom platter to drop all year long. This thing will upset you, scare the shit out of you, and make you wonder if the artists behind it aren’t revealing a little too much about their frames of mind. It’s nice to feel uncomfortable with your music now and again, and Ephemeros certainly won’t let you get comfy.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/Ephemeros
To buy the album, go here: http://shop.seventhrule.com/
For more on the label, go here: http://www.seventhrule.com/