It should be obvious to anyone that if you’re going to delve into something called funeral doom that you’re about to be caught up in a world of misery and pain, delivered torturously slowly so that you can feel every drip of remorse. The more emotional the music the better, which helps these long dirges stay in your heart and mind, battering you along the way.
Australian doom dreamers Illimitable Dolor only have been working on their soul-crushing craft for half a decade now, but the band already has two devastating documents to their credit, the latest in the form of “Leaden Light,” a record that will make you feel the depth of the shadows and darkness. The five-track, nearly 52-minute opus that sprawls before you is an engaging, harrowing experience that will swallow you whole the second the music drips out. The band—guitarist/vocalist Stuart Prickett, keyboard player Guy Moore, bassist Dan Garcia, drummer/vocalist Yonn McLaughlin—is comprised of member of other notable acts such as the Slow Death, Nazxul, and Horrisonous, but their work here is fully infused in pure doom and the thoughts of what lies beyond. But it’s not just a sullen drubbing into oblivion. The band employs a great share of melody and texture that provide a look beyond doom’s normal boundaries to places other bands of this type often don’t tread.
“Armed He Brings the Dawn” is the longest song on the album, running 14:50, and it cracks open with waves crashing, organs reigning, and melodies crashing down, while the growls crush all your hopes and dreams. Menace and sorrow color the guitars work, and after a brief cleansing, things go into a dark haze highlighted by some great lead work. The track opens up, while the growls overwhelm, emotional guitar work makes your blood rush, and elegant melodies bring the song to its end. “Soil She Bears” opens slowly but dramatically as growls lurch and pianos drip blood. The pace hulks and bruises, with the growls bringing added pressure, and its textured, sorrowful final minutes are enough to make your mind soar.
“Horses Pale and Four” stretches over 11:27 and bleeds into the scene, bringing with it stretching growls, an emotional toll that’s almost too heavy to pay, and then a brief foray into the land of dreams, as synth extends their wings before the track reaches its bursting point. The pace bashes away, as the vocals scrape behind, and a heavy simmer sends off steam as well as encircling organs. Guitars lap with sadness, the growls gurgle blood, and the track trickles into mystery. “Leaden Light Her Coils” runs a healthy 13:48 and begins with keys dropping, power trembling, and the growls punching through the earth. The playing is weighty, while the vocals have a dirty drawl that collects dirt, and the guitars glimmer brightly. As the song goes on, sanity is shredded while melodies gush, and the band continues to add intensity and never-ending solemnity. Keys rain as the growls crawl up your back, the playing swells, and a haze takes over and pulls you into the murk. The record ends with “2.12.14” that is neck deep in drone when it arrives, and then a fog hovers over the area, bringing with it mourning guitars, gently unfolding melodies, and speaking lines that fall into growls. That’s the gateway for the final dose of anguish that fills up your chest and makes you quiver and break as the song reaches its end.
Illimitable Dolor’s reign has been short so far, but they have two hefty documents that demonstrate their might and majesty, with “Leaden Light” being their most adventurous. It’s easy to fall victim to their art, to get pulled into the dark sojourn on which they’re on and take yourself into terrain you never dreamed you’d visit before. This is a stellar, surprisingly compact record for this genre, one that doesn’t demand too much of your time but still will leave you quaking inside.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/IllimitableDolor/
To buy the album (U.S), go here: https://transcendingobscurity.aisamerch.com/
Or here: https://tometal.com/store/
For more on the label, go here: https://tometal.com/