Slow and menacing riffs with horrendous vocals is something that I can easily get behind. Dropping the frequency to the depth of funeral doom is definitely treading new waters for myself, however. Khazad-dum are a newer act that focus on that style, while adding the guttural death growls in with clearer resonating vocals for alternating effects. Based out of the UK, they’ve crafted a fairly massive but not-always-welcoming work of art. Written about Moria from the Lord Of The Rings stories, their album Hymns From The Deep is a concept that follows one large poem spread across five long tracks.
No song falls very short of ten minutes, save for “Mountainous Structures” serving as more of a misty interlude than anything. A lot of the grand soundscapes are loaded with chants, as well as vibrating chills sent through from the droning end of the vocals. A smeary execution does cause some blending of songs, which was likely intentional due to the nature of how they were written. “The Forsaken Palace” has the most sudden of any changes, led by an eruption of drums about halfway through. The synth teaming with the guitars add tons of moody hazes, and I’d say the strongest part of the record resides there. The swapping of speedier death metal chugs and clear yet haunting vocals reach a peak point as well.
To the opposite end, “Stones Of Sorrow” keeps things rather somber and drawn-out for most of its run-time. There is a dash of higher velocity in that too, but far less prominent. Distant tremolos are often utilized in the background of calmer sections, adding a lot of melancholic feels to fill in the gaps. Admittedly, the two tracks on the other side of the interlude hardly do anything different, and the fifty-three-minute run-time was definitely a lot to take in. But at least things stayed consistent.
Ultimately, Hymns From The Deep is hardly my cup of tea, and I was reluctant to tackle something this far out of my comfort zone. But people who love funeral doom with traces of death metal and sadder passages would eat up every moment of this. Just be sure to be in the right setting and state of mind for proper absorption.
You can order album here – https://amzn.to/384h9Q2
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