Doom metal always has and always should dwell in the darkest elements of society, the things that make us wonder why life has to be such a burden sometimes, often impossible to navigate. Much of what you hear in this style also dines on death and the idea of the end, as the suffering and pain becomes overwhelming and almost too much to take.
Multi-international funeral doom band Under a Full Moon also bring to the table the feeling of hopelessness and despair, but what’s on their seventh (SEVENTH! In two years!) album “Our Riches” swings things a little differently than a lot of records of this ilk. Here, they focus on the grips of capitalism and devastation it can bring to the lives of people who are not in the upper echelon of society. It’s a struggle so many of us know, even those who aren’t exactly dealing with poverty. It can become a lot to bear sometimes, and often we have no control over the situation because someone above us is pulling the strings. On this eight track, nearly 70-minute record, you get a heaping dose of the pain and suffering the duo—EB (vocals, guitars, drums, bass) and GS (keyboards)—examines on this devastating record that’ll challenge your will and push you to experience their discomfort.
“A Thought That Became a Dream” is the 9:47-long opener that emerges from a strange, spacey ambiance as guitars chug awake and doom drapes fall. Ghostly growls lurch, while the tempo drubs, noises vibrate, and the track feels like it floats in pools of light. Growls return, the ugliness wells, and the track goes out with electronic sting and ache. “A Newfound Hope” pokes through a dark fog, landing blows and bringing blood to the surface. Growls bubble while the playing lurches, and a patch of clean playing is swallowed by heaviness and infernal growls from the depths. The music then spins hypnotically, winds bristle, and the track ends in sizzling sound. “The Coming Morrow” is slow-driving punishment, situated in anguish, while the growls destroy, and the track slurs dangerously. Calculated chaos spreads as the bottom drops the fuck out, and menacing growls blacken eyes. “Soil” runs a generous 11:59 and opens in a sound swirl, with the world spinning out of control. You’re then encircled by massive crushing as the synth floats like a stationary black storm, offering a shadowy texture to the bludgeoning. The track chews over and over as the pace crunches, streaks of beauty fade, and the track comes to a cavernous end.
“Gazing Into the Abysmal Darkness” is a slow melter, hulking along and flexing muscles as growls smother, and the violent pace brings scarring. The growls gurgles blood while everything around it is absolutely quaking, with the guitars burning through surfaces as everything comes to its end. “Cesspool of Sorrow and Pain” is the baby of the group, clocking in at 5:22 and starting with synth strings and dark guitars. The heaviness emerges and begins to flatten the senses, while the growls are buried in layers of filth, with the drums just going off. The playing powders bones, while fierce growls strike, and a hole is burned in the song’s center. “My Final Strife” has keys blazing, heavy breathing, and the song opening into a humid pit. The misery rains down steadily, as funereal keys set an impossibly bleak ambiance, leaving space for the grinding growling. Things begin to slowly fade, while the final strikes do damage before dissipating. “My Last Tide” ends the album, and at a mammoth 15:21, it is the record’s longest chapter. Keys drip and simmer while a sound bed crumbles, setting up a long introduction that finally is pierced with screams about five minutes in. There, the doom thunder rumbles, picking up the pace and barreling into hell. The words sound pained and warped, slithering through before a brief halt, picked up on the other side by a synth haze. Bells ring, adding to the haunting emotions, while the track lies there bleeding, refusing death until it drains its last drop.
Not all struggles can be overcome, and it’s very possible we’ll never be loosened from the grips of capitalism in any of our lifetimes. Under a Full Moon have a sobering reminder of this situation on “Our Riches,” a record that keeps adding the mental pressure we all feel. We’ve all sustained punishment, we’ve all lost, and sometimes the only way to cope is to immerse ourselves in the darkness so maybe we can understand it a little better.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/uafmbm/
To buy the album, go here: https://tridroid.bandcamp.com/album/our-riches
For more on the label, go here: http://www.facebook.com/tridroidrecords