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Ennui : The Last Way

Ennui's second opus is a Behemoth full of malice, rage and tales of doom and dust.

Georgian Funeral Doom Metal Ennui (Georgia the country, not the State) has quietly released its sophomore effort through the young Russian label MFL (Moscow Funeral League), a label that has been discreetly getting stronger, featuring some rather interesting projects and led by Who Dies In Siberian Slush's vocalist and guitar player, E.S.

Flying very low under the radar, I'm sure, of most Doom fans, as well as of your humble servant: I've barely heard about this band's existence, let alone listened to anything recorded by it, and I could have easily missed a very promising band with a huge potential (and a magnificent second release) had I not been granted with this review copy of the band's second effort, namely The Last Way.

As goofy (or exotic) as the idea of Funeral Doom Metal hailing from the former Soviet Union's Republic of Georgia may sound to you, this album is something to consider and take seriously, because it is one of the strongest outputs the year 2013 has seen, where Funeral Doom is concerned.

Now, I have not listened to the band's debut, mind you, so I really couldn't compare the two (nor should I, nor anyone else for that matter) for ‘The Last Way’ should never be compared to anything; it should be judged upon its own, singular merits - and those are aplenty.

But every good love story starts by accident, like the one I had with this recording, listening to it superficially, playing the album on a lousy CD player. The reaction - as with anything really good and profound and complex - was the obvious knee-jerk reaction: this is one of the most tedious, boring, uninspired and derivative albums ever recorded in the history of Funeral Doom, and with that notion in mind, all I ever wanted is for the music to stop, already. That's it: I made up my mind and was ready to bash to Kingdom Come the very existence of this album.

But fuck me, and then some! I've listened to it again in the appropriate conditions and gave this album the proper attention it really deserves, and have come to several conclusions:
This album is one of the most complex and genius albums out there, simply because its apparent straight-forwardness only makes you think it is simple and benign, but the long (very long) songs keep you alert and aware and focused completely on the music, solely, purely, locked on the sounds and on nothing else. So captivating are they, it couldn't be the work of simple cascades of Metallic riffage and some genre clichés - that would have been impossible: there's some black magic invested into those sounds, or the work of very proficient musicians.
Which leads us to the second thing and that is the album only has an unappealing crust - repetitive (too repetitive), slow (too slow), strange-sounding vocalist with the most unpleasant vocal tone and too try-hard an attitude, as well as the unavoidable feeling of déjà vu that accompanies the listener along the endless avenues of the album's never-ending tracks; the inside of it, however - once digging and paying attention enough - shines with radiant and blinding beauty, black despair, empty solitude and blood-red pain of the highest kind.

This album, if you'll just let it, will find its way into every breathing pore inside you and make you sway and pulsate with it. This is Funeral Doom painted by numbers that - once peeled of its crude, pedestrian façade - reveals a totally different beast: a Behemoth full of malice, rage and tales of doom and dust.

Crushing joy under waves of sorrow so thick they could almost be touched, the slow (oh, so slow) music - presided over by the abrasive, violent and gritty vocals - is surprisingly dynamic, as it moves always forward, slowly and sinuously, like a heavy serpent that's crawling in very thick mud. The small details throughout each and every track are surprisingly lush and abundant: the enchanting guitar solos, the strumming, the arranging and structuring of the songs, the weeping voices, the various guitar effects and the various vocals - these small details all play a role in this grand musical show; a human drama that is as beautiful as it is dark.

You may not fully understand what I am talking about here and you may not comprehend even after you would have listened to the album - perhaps being stuck perpetually in the same mindset I had after listening to the album for that first, and very superficial, time - but at least you must give it a try and let it sink in and then try again, because it really is worthy of both your time and effort to become intimate with it, and when you do, you will be greatly rewarded.

‘The Last Way’ is definitely and without question one of my contenders for the best album of 2013. It should be yours as well...

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Reviewer's rating: 8.5/10


Tracklist :
1. Cold Somnolence
2. Ennui
3. A Moment in the Void
4. Loss
5. The Descendant of Lifeless Rebirth
6. The Last Way

Duration : Approx. 74 minutes

Visit the Ennui bandpage.

Reviewed on 2013-12-18 by Chaim Drishner
Vanha - Black Lion
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