Angmodnes – The Weight of Eternity (Black Lion Records)Monday, 3rd October 2022
Nine years in the making, Dutch funeral doom act Angmodnes release this EP The Weight of Eternity – carving out bleak melancholy through their compositions of woe. Intertwining the duality of clean melodies as well as deep death growls, the music contained in these three epic tracks also showcases dynamic diversity in crushing rhythms, counterpoint melodic guitars that weave in and around, plus a rhythm section able to carry momentum even at slower than resting heart rate paces.
When there are only three tracks that average out to twelve minutes apiece, you know you’ll be taking in epic arrangements that contain small nuggets of treasure against the despair and gloom ever present. The opening title track starts with a reflective, quiet piano passage before the sonic distortion of guitars, bass, and drums envelops you – the growled verses equally intoxicating in slow motion roars, specific electric riffs ringing out to oblivion while the quieter transition offers slight respite to reflect upon before the clean, emotional melodies blend in against the funeral doom backdrop. In the simplest terms – Angmodnes lives for that haunting despair we possess seeking to break free. Classical violin passages ring “Hollow Earth” in, the drumming keeps the listener guessing in terms of when certain snare/fill hits take place – the mid-section once again lighter/airy with guitar harmony nuances, before beautiful piano work takes the song to a calm, reflective conclusion. At almost fifteen-minutes, “Under Darkened Vaults” possibly has the most energy of the three tracks – the sorrowful despair between the extreme/clean melodies plus background choir elements ideal against the heavy, drawn-out riffs.
Kudos to the two-piece when it comes to understanding the challenges inherent in funeral doom overall – there are traps that can take place regarding monotony or lack of diversity/attack. Angmodnes employs enough dynamic contrast to perk up listener attention through The Weight of Eternity – and if names like AHAB, Evoken, and Shape of Despair matter, this would be another act to consider as moving the needle to your tastes.