Funeral Doom Friday: THE HOWLING VOID Walks Through The Darkness At The Edge of Dawn
Finally, the weekend is upon us. What better way to kick it off than with the latest installment of "Funeral Doom Friday". For those who are new to this column; each week features a new or classic album from the realm of extreme doom. Much of funeral/death doom's might comes from an oppressive emotional weight and the use of death or black metal motifs (played at a trudging pace, of course.) Pioneers like Mournful Congregation, Evoken, and Esoteric have mastered this blend of dirge and destruction. For 25 years, they have methodically built compositions that stretch for dozens of minutes all while keeping fans enthralled. Time has elapsed since the days of Thergothon and much like the world around us, the genre has evolved. Today's modern bands contort the very construct of the genre, breeding darkly refreshing new work. Their work thankfully gives this column plenty of material to share.
My apologies for the radio silence last week. I took off to visit with family for Thanksgiving. It is a special time where many Americans overindulge on foods we will only eat one time a year (seriously, name a time outside of Thanksgiving when you ate stuffing.) While personally, I was able to prevent over-eating mom's delicious cooking—I haven't been able to put down the new album from The Howling Void. Ryan Wilson has made music this moniker for roughly a decade now. His music has progressively become much more expansive in recent years. The atmosphere within 2016's The Triumph of Ruin and his newest offering dominates and spellbinds.
The Darkness at the Edge of Dawn is Wilson's sixth full-length album as The Howling Void. Over the album's five tracks, the listener can explore somber melodies and Ryan's clean vocals. The previously featured track, "A Seed on Stone," still showcases many of these radiant qualities. Additionally, the title track does this very well. Both tracks work splendidly to juxtapose these qualities against surmounting funerary tropes. Wilson's chants are almost meditative. Their dichotomy with towering riffs and thunderous crash cymbals creates a calming presence in a tumultuous sea of chaos.
Each track on this record is riveting, though. Holistically, The Howling Void produced one of the better Funeral Doom records this year with The Darkness… This newest full-length record is an actualization of a mission that has been ongoing for a decade now. It is deeply refreshing to hear this project's progression and it only breeds more excitement for what else is to come.