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Profetus : Coronation Of The Black Sun/Saturnine (Remaster)

The remastered version of Profetus' earliest works enhances their distinctive, entrancing gloominess.

"It is not good for one to be sad, and yet how pleasant it is - a strange state..."
- Fredrick Chopin.

Swimming deeper than sorrow, delving into a darkness beyond depression, and coming to rest upon the suffocating epitaph of pure, agonizing, grief is a quality Funeral Doom alone knows. Like a thick blanket of endless snow upon the backs of a slow trudging congregation the droning, breathless atmosphere conjured on Profetus', now classic, 'Coronation Of The Black Sun' (and accompanying 'Saturnine' demo) leaves its listeners aching in body and spirit.

Not so long ago, really, were the last rites read on this slothful monolith of Finnish Funeral Doom and here it lies once more, exhumed, re-mastered and bleak as ever. Consisting of but seven epitaphs, between the two discs, with only its intro clocking in just under four minutes, no other track is below the twelve minute mark, 'Coronation Of The Black Sun/Saturnine' is a release one must be prepared to be immersed in to fully understand its distinctive experience. The remastering of this material preserved the original feeling while teasing forth some of the more obscure nuances. The warm resonance of the synth and the lethargic, heavily distorted, guitar work drags one, note by note, beneath the surface of its hopeless grand expanse of consuming, sunless, grief. Guttural, the grim rasps call from the bleakness like wisps on the breath of the wind. Raw and indeterminable, floating just beneath the surface ambience of the soul smothering riffs and asphyxiating, dense keyboard layers, the voice leading the listeners through this sonic agony is, itself, lost in throws of melancholy and catatonic apathy. The flow of each offering places the mood first allowing the dark figures, and their accompanying instruments, to rise and submerge at will with flourishes of melody, organ passages and drum accents against the inexorable wall of droning darkness. Where the re-master differs most from the original release is its emphasis on atmosphere: opting to subdue, somewhat without loosing blance, the guitars and vocals in favour of preserving its ever-grim soundscape steeped in a suspended breath, gasping for air, merciless feeling of grief.

For a band without a bassist, the depth and resonance of the music on both discs is remarkable. Tracks like 'Winter Solstice', from 'Saturnine', take on a near cinematic quality in its brooding misery while 'Blood Of Saturn', the final bleeding wound on 'Coronation Of The Black Sun', builds a crushing cathedral of agonizing gloom with its leading guitar melodies and eloquent synth backdrop. The final track, on 'Saturnine', is a superb throbbing live rendition of 'Blood Of Saturn' that captures a resonance from the band that is unique from that on the album version and is a highlight of the release. Where bands like Thergothon and Skepticism broke earth on this forsaken soundscape in the nineties, shaping its contorted skeletal framework, bands such as Mournful Congregation and Profetus have kept the tomb open in the decades to follow.

In a way this re-master sees the original material in a different, albeit, even murkier light giving the listener a true immersion into the Funeral Doom realms. Interestingly, I found the experience between the two versions unique. Due to the emphasis on different elements, in each respective version, even for those who have the original there is something to be heard in this release. Ultimately, as is the case with most entries in this, admittedly strange, sub-genre patience, on the behalf of the listener, will yield the true rewards hidden within the sullen passages here travelled. It is only in staring deep into this chasm we call death as it swallows light and life alike that we can truly see the gift of our joys: memento mori.

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Reviewer's rating: 8/10


Tracklist :
CD1: 'Coronation of the Black Sun'
1. Saturnine Night (Intro)
2. The Eye Of Phosphoros
3. Coalescence Of Ashen Wings
4. Blood Of Saturn
CD2: 'Saturnine'
5. The Skull Of Silence
6. Winter Solstice
Bonus Track
7. Blood Of Saturn (Kuopio Live)

Duration : Approx. 104 minutes

Visit the Profetus bandpage.

Reviewed on 2018-02-25 by Lord Tanner Skrocki
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