Oct 212021


The French funeral doom band Funeralium named their 2004 debut demo Ultra Sick Doom, and the name has stuck as a shorthand for their music. But what does it mean? As portrayed in their formidable fourth album Decrepit, it’s music that plumbs the depths of human illness — not so much the magnitude of the diseases that afflict the human body (though as you’ll see, this plays a role) but the deep-seated flaws in humankind which cause us to relentlessly ruin the Earth, our only home.

More precisely, we’re told that the concept of Decrepit was born in 2019 from the conviction that mankind was working tirelessly toward its own demise, diligently destroying its own habitat and the habitat of all other species — only to have these convictions reaffirmed during the first year of the pandemic, a year that seemed to cement the certainty of these convictions, and a likely forerunner of even worse times to come.

And so it was during the pandemic that Funeralium went back to studios in scattered locations to record the four imposing songs that make up Decrepit, creating devastating music on a scale (and with a sound) that matches the magnitude and nuances of the self-destructive human sickness that inspired it. Continue reading »

Feb 242017


One look at the title of this post will tell you that I’m drowning in new music that I want to recommend — seven bands are named, and this is already Part 2 of a SEEN AND HEARD collection for this Friday, and I’m already working on a third part, which I probably won’t finish and post until tomorrow. But, you know, it’s a good kind of drowning.

There’s always a risk of sensory overload when I let these collections get out of hand, or at least a risk of people running out of time before they’re able to sample everything (much less read all these damned words). But rather than retreat, I’ll just borrow the words of Shakespeare as expressed through King Henry V to his soldiers: “Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more….”


I do my best to unearth good music from bands I’ve never heard of, but I also answer the bell like Pavlov’s dog when something new comes out from a band I’ve liked for a long time. Evocation are one of those bands, a group whose music I’ve been addicted to ever since ever since their resurrection in 2007 with Tales From the Tomb. Which is why I’m kind of embarrassed by not learning of these first two songs sooner than I have. Continue reading »