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Asunder : Works Will Come Undone

Asunder have created a monolith of ultra-depressive Doom Metal which draws from both Death Doom and Funeral Doom influences in terms of style.

There are special bands, and there are special albums. Works Will Come Undone is a special album from a special band. A band which – unfortunately – has split up after only two full-length releases, which makes their heritage all the more valuable. The title already suggests that the music on this album is not particularly uplifting – in fact, Asunder from the US have created a monolith of ultra-depressive Doom Metal which draws from both Death Doom and Funeral Doom influences in terms of style.

This is not the repetitive, hypnotic kind of Extreme Doom. Instead, the two long compositions could be described as progressive in the sense that they progress through very different parts and moods, each of which seems to follow naturally from the other. In relation to Doom standards, the music is therefore fairly dynamic and complex and there is always something new going on. A consequence of such a structural approach is that the album will take several spins until it can be grasped in its entirety and until its quality fully shines through. But the listener’s patience is rewarded thousandfold, for the arrangements are so refined that you find yourself eagerly anticipating every single part of them. This experience will be familiar to anyone who enjoys bands from whatever genre working with comparable song structures.

Within the confines of the Doom scene, Mournful Congregation seem to be the best comparison, for both bands show many similarities in songwriting and also share the characteristic juxtaposition of crushing riffs and mournful melodies, often with twin guitars. However, Asunder are clearly more aggressive, also production-wise, calling to mind the fellow Americans Loss or the first two Mourning Beloveth albums. The heavy Death Doom edge is supported by powerful and varied drumming which really tops off the band’s sound. As on their previous effort A Clarion Call, the line-up features a cello player whose contributions add nicely to the bleak atmosphere and stay well away from mellow or even romantic clichés. The same is true for the gloomy chanting which occasionally complements the primarily growled vocals.

Since the album only consists of two tracks, let us examine them more closely. “A Famine” is the more melodic and emotional of the two songs, and it is also more accessible. Its melancholic atmosphere is so captivating that it can actually leave you breathless for a moment. There is one particularly great transition around 15:30 where a melody from earlier in the song comes up again, slower than before and in such a beautiful twin guitar arrangement that it just cannot leave any sentient being unaffected. Shortly afterwards, tortured growls recite the final line of the lyrics, “I am hunger, desire incarnate, flesh and bone, I am alone” – magnificent. In comparison, “Rite of Finality” is more experimental and minimalist, and there is a certain Post-Rock influence in the first half of the track. The second half focuses on extremely dark and heavy riffs. Thus, the atmosphere created differs a bit from the first track, demanding some flexibility from the listener – but at some point it becomes apparent how much the album profits from the additional variation.

It must be noted that the essential part of the album is much shorter than the 72 minutes of total playing time. The last 27 minutes (roughly) basically consist of vague drones and distant singing and will most likely be skipped by most listeners because they really do not take you anywhere. This is also the only flaw of Works Will Come Undone, but even when this extravagant outro is left out, the 45 minutes of perfect material are still worth the purchase without any doubt. Fans of emotional, but uncompromising Doom must have this wonderful gem in their collection. If you have not heard of this band yet, go do your homework.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. A Famine
2. Rite of Finality

Duration : Approx. 72 minutes

Visit the Asunder bandpage.

Reviewed on 2012-02-11 by Dominik Sonders
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