Funeral Doom Friday: Romania's DESCEND INTO DESPAIR Lifts the Synaptic Veil From Reality
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.
This week, Funeral Doom Friday settles into Romania. The Eastern European nation is home to the funerary septet of Descend Into Despair. The band is essentially their own symphony today, but in their earliest days, they had a modest beginning. "Our roots go back to 2010 and even a bit before, but we were only a bit more than a beer talk project; when we began as a duo of young aspiring musicians." The band said in a statement to Metal Injection.
"Things started picking up speed (maybe not the best wording for a doom band) soon afterward, with increasingly more ambitious releases each year. This includes our 2010 demo, Wings of Solitude, Vanity Devotion, "Hierophant of the Night", and, finally, our first full-length, Bearer of All Storms. We take pride in keeping a steady, focused set of motifs and concepts at the center of our work; regardless of the lineup changes and, at times chaotic, growth." They added. This growth is certainly evident, not just in the band's personnel but with the quality of music.
They went on to say, "We were always lucky to find like-minded people and develop our music around a sense of weltschmerz; a brooding and ever-looming feeling that physical reality can never fully satisfy the demands of the mind. When conflicted with the obtuseness of this world; our response became increasingly nuanced, ranging from the chronic, almost surreal scream of the anguish of our earlier works to a more stoic, almost blissful realization (in a masochistic sense) of the freedom one can find in embracing pain."
Having a collective handle on these feelings allows Descend Into Despair to harness a greater emotional depth in their music. It pays off greatly on Synaptic Veil, the band's second full-length album. The somber chords and clean vocals bring about much of the Romanian group's melancholy. "Demise", the album's centerpiece, is a shimmering example of this. A chorus of voices drifts in and out over crystalline keys throughout much of the 14 minutes. Whereas songs like "Alone With My Thoughts" and "Silence In Sable Acrotism" channel some more death-doom tropes, like harsher vocals, that are dragged to a glacial pace.
Descend Into Despair also commented on their newest album saying, "Synaptic Veil, our latest effort to date, is also our most articulate endeavor so far. The veil here is ambiguous and double-sided. “Objective” reality imposes a layer of limitations onto our mental landscape; but our inner, “subjective” reality lays a veil of concepts on top of the physical reality as a coping mechanism. We are finally able to fully transpose these concepts into music thanks to our broadened line-up. Each member brings forth their vision and dedication. Today, we are Xander, Florentin, Cosmin, Luca, Alex, Flaviu and Dragoș. We are fiercely proud to call ourselves Descend into Despair and equally eager to see what tomorrow has in store."