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Façade : The Eternal Dance 
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Post Façade : The Eternal Dance

Read the review here:

http://www.doom-metal.com/reviews.php?album=3503.

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Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:31 am
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Post Re: Façade : The Eternal Dance

While I do not really disagree with the review and most here have expressed dissatisfaction about this album, but for me this is the first Facade album that I thoroughly enjoy. Not only that - I find it quite remarkable. Despite the various experimentations I find it coherent, accessible and very fresh. For me the mix of various styles works perfectly, and even the final track is a treat from beginning to end=) It's depressing or anything but is really fun=)

Previous albums by the band were too formulaic so for me the whole effort by the band is quite praiseworthy.


Mon Feb 24, 2020 8:00 am
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Post Re: Façade : The Eternal Dance

I half-agree with klamerin and with the reviewer... I can see they are trying to push the boundaries, so to speak, but it doesn't always work. The previous effort was more derivative, but easier to digest. I wish they edited the speech from the last track. It just ruins it for me. All in all, 9 for effort, 6 for accomplishment...

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Mon Feb 24, 2020 10:50 am
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Post Re: Façade : The Eternal Dance

Late to the party as usual, but… I tend to agree with klamerin. In fact, after reading the review, I was expecting something very different from what the album actually is: I don’t find it all that experimental or disjointed. Rather, they’ve finally carved their own niche in Death Doom. Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed their debut EP back then, the first full-length was an utterly boring and uninspired let-down, but with this album, their music has matured into a sound all its own. It has a few progressive flourishes and quiet sections here and there, sure, but that’s quite far from being utterly experimental, let alone influenced by Trance. I’d go so far as to say there’s not a single keyboard/synth or other electronic element anywhere on the album, and their line-up on Metal Archives seems to confirm this (there’s no keyboard player!). I’m struggling to even guess what the reviewer may be referring to; presumably the various background guitar effects…? It’s not “unquestionably”, or even remotely, Funeral Doom, either: as with the supposed electronics, I hear no Funeral Doom influence anywhere.* In my book, this is plain Death Doom with some progressive flourishes and a slow-building approach to song structures more akin to Post-Rock than Metal. Finally, 5/10 is a really, really harsh rating for a well-executed album like this. I’m not saying it’s a perfect masterpiece, in fact I found it somewhat dragging in places and I totally agree with Merch about the speech in the final track. But these are relatively minor points on an otherwise accomplished release which would be more in the ballpark of 7–8,5 in my book (would have to give it a few more attentive listens to arrive at a more accurate, final verdict).

*This is probably a larger, general point of debate, and perhaps my conception of Funeral Doom has simply grown obsolete… As is so often the case with terms like this and language in general, ‘faulty’ use (measured against the prevalent definition at a certain point in time) slowly becomes the norm if enough people adhere to it. It started with Evoken back in the day and everyone calling them Funeral Doom, and nowadays it has culminated into a state of affairs where everything is called Funeral Doom that is moderately slow and has growls in it: I’ve seen bands like Saturnus labelled Funeral Doom, and the example in discussion here is even more striking, given it’s mostly mid-tempo with quite a number of fast outbursts. Death Doom, on the other hand, seems to have shifted in use towards the darker side of Death Metal (known before as ‘Cavernous Death Metal’, ‘Caverncore’ or simply ‘doomy Death Metal’) represented by bands like Incantation or, more recently, Krypts (cf. the review on this very site), though I admit, of course, that the edges between these genres can be fuzzy at times. What, then, are we going to call bands that meet the earlier criteria of Funeral Doom nowadays? Ambient (Funeral) Doom or whatever? I realise these things have a momentum of their own that can’t be stopped, but I still find it sad because you never know, reading a review or comment, what exactly people are referring to when using such genre terms. To use the example of this review: I was expecting something super-slow and minimalist with shifting atmospheres (another element I fail to hear) and a lot of spaced-out electronics, thinking to myself, “Wow, it might not work, but it should still be very interesting”. What I actually heard was a fairly dynamic, mostly mid-tempo affair with a consistent atmosphere and no synths in sight anywhere. Hmm.

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Wed Aug 05, 2020 1:59 pm
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Post Re: Façade : The Eternal Dance

d.mimøsa wrote:
What, then, are we going to call bands that meet the earlier criteria of Funeral Doom nowadays?

What, like Esoteric? :laugh:

Not that I'm actually taking the mickey out of your general point, more arguing that there has never been a time when what I'd consider the 'purist' definition of Funeral Doom was universally accepted. To me, that was a rather distinct and precise set of characteristics: slow, repetitive, minimalist, largely devoid of any ornamentation and relying on lengthy minimally-variant iterations to establish progress within the composition. And whilst I rather like that, and the way it clearly sets the genre boundaries, the alternative or broader usage to describe "slow Death/Doom" has been in use pretty much since the beginning (taking Evoken as an example) -
Wikipedia says this on the subject:
"Funeral doom is a genre that crosses death-doom with funeral dirge music.[76] It is played at a very slow tempo, and places an emphasis on evoking a sense of emptiness and despair.[3] Typically, electric guitars are heavily distorted and dark ambient aspects such as keyboards or synthesizers are often used to create a "dreamlike" atmosphere.[54] Vocals consist of mournful chants or growls and are often in the background.[54] Funeral doom was pioneered by Mournful Congregation,[77] Esoteric, Evoken, Funeral, Thergothon,[78] and Skepticism.[79]"
And, really, if that's representative of the currently-accepted wisdom for a wider and less-specifically Doom-focused audience than those of us here: yep, the likes of Saturnus wouldn't even be a slightly controversial candidate for a Funeral tag. And, looking at the wider world of Metal, when it comes to labelling Doom bands and albums, sometimes it seems that pretty much all of the contemporary press and PR machines are of the opinion that "if it isn't Stoner, it must be Funeral"! For better or worse, that's just the way musical boundaries have always blurred over time: I think it's wise to accept that they're generally pretty artificial constructs to begin with, inevitably devalue over time, and there are no shortage of music journalists or publicity folks eager to coin a pithy tag for the next thing they think will trend.

That's not to comment on the review itself. Some people like experimentation. Some prefer more recognisable territory. It's their legitimate opinion, and choice. Yeah, you're probably right that none of the elements mentioned originate from an actual keyboard, but it'd be a stretch to describe modern guitar pedals as owing nothing to electronics, wouldn't it? I'm no trained, professional, or even adequate musician - I can tell you what music conveys to me, without necessarily having the slightest understanding of how it was created, and I'd have to say that this album sounds pretty full of "effects" to me. I'd personally guess they came out of a guitar, originally, but since I don't really care about the underlying technicalities, it's the impact, rather than the source, that would be my focus as well.
If I was to complain, it would be that I really don't like "5" (or thereabouts) as a rating. It doesn't really say anything, in itself, just sits as a centrepoint of mediocrity, implying that the album achieved nothing, one way or the other. When the truth is that there'll almost certainly be something about it which will either make you want to listen again, or throw it straight in the bin. I'd far rather see a lower score that says "me, I hated this" or a far higher one that says "it has flaws, but I still like it". But that's the danger with using a numerical measure - it lacks context, subtlety, and investment, except at the extreme ends of the spectrum, where the review text will probably still give you a more comprehensive picture of why it's brilliant/rubbish than any single "measure" you can tack on the end.

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Fri Aug 07, 2020 12:48 am
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Post Re: Façade : The Eternal Dance

Thanks for your input! Esoteric certainly are a poor example, and personally I’ve never considered them a Funeral Doom band, even if some of their tracks or parts thereof could certainly be so labelled.

It’s funny you’d cite Wikipedia: articles there seem to become more and more subjective and unreliable the more specialised the topic, and subgenres such as these are rather specialised, after all. I’ve always found Wikipedia articles on Doom lacking, but then again, you’re not wrong: it’s quite possible they represent a fairly widespread conception, and as long as the community’s corrective doesn’t jump in, they will slowly exact their normative influence on mainstream perception, further cementing that conception. A while ago, Wikipedia used to list a really absurd selection of bands as representative of Death Doom, including Opeth and The 3rd and the Mortal; fortunately, that seems to be a thing of the past now, but the fact that their article on Death Doom has been dumbed down to a rudiment speaks volumes. If we interpret their statement well, we are to assume that Death Doom more or less ceased to exist some time ago, was only ever a transitional style and was eventually replaced by some sort of “more accessible or palatable direction” (presumably Gothic Doom, Gothic Metal or something along those lines) on one end of the spectrum and Funeral Doom on the other. That sort of perspective certainly explains the erosion of definitions I’ve been discussing above.

I’d very much agree with your purist definition. But as someone who hasn’t been following the scene that closely these last few years, I feel inclined to ask: does this sort of style even exist anymore, and if so, how do people describe it? The last remarkable album I heard in that style, as far as I can remember, was Monotony Fields by Shape of Despair. Pretty much everything else I’ve seen labelled as Funeral Doom was (by my understanding of the terms) either Death Doom – and not even particularly slow at that – or some sort of dirty, sludgy hybrid far removed from the atmosphere of finality I’d associate with the genre (a recent example of this would be Vofa).

Indeed, much of the current usage of these terms is certainly fuelled by how the Metal scene at large perceives Doom (i.e. far less nuanced than us old Doom farts might). And you’re absolutely right about genre tags being artificial constructs, of course. Nevertheless, they used to serve a purpose, which for me was to give me at least a rough idea of what to expect, thereby helping me decide whether a certain album or band is worth checking out. And that used to be much easier before. If ‘slow Death Doom’ is the new Funeral Doom, then this begs the question: as opposed to what? Fast Death Doom? I’m not challenging your line of thought here, but rather the overall perception of the genre. I mean, Death Doom is slow by its very definition, sometimes excruciatingly so. If it’s too fast, or even consistently mid-tempo, it will soon border on territory that isn’t even Doom anymore. This sort of differentiation seems to have been lost, making the terms utterly useless.

As for the review, I see your points, and of course reviewers can’t be expected to recognise every intricacy of how the music was created. I still found those details important to point out, though, since they really struck me. Much of the other aspects mentioned are probably down to taste and perception, and I’d like to say that the review as such is really well-written. In this case, though, I’d still maintain that Funeral isn’t the appropriate tag by any definition: with all the dynamics and double-kick drumming going on, this is very far from it, even if we defined it as ‘(particularly) slow Death Doom’. But certainly, this is an issue that we could discuss ad nauseam without arriving at a real consensus. :;):

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Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:37 am
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Post Re: Façade : The Eternal Dance

The thing is the most extreme forms of Doom have reached a much wider audience nowadays, and to this public more accustomed to faster genres, anything that conveys a more restrained, atmospheric, solemn and technically deliberatly slow approach is so far from their usual standards in Metal that the term "Funeral" has been elected as the all-encompassing tag to describe all these productions that play their part more slowly, in haftones and with more circumspection than the music these people are used to listen to.

It's a vain fight to try to curb this new tendency to use this label extensively as it implicitly reflects its marginal status: if all extreme forms of doom are non-conformist enough to receive this overall tag, if they 're bound to constitute such a strong counter-example to the more popular styles, I think one must rejoice to the fact it only proves that the radicality of "Funeral doom"is still acknowledged by the majority, even if it's badly interpreted.


This little chat brought me back to this album, and I found it good enough to buy it, mind you!

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Tue Aug 11, 2020 6:26 pm
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Post Re: Façade : The Eternal Dance

I've given up trying to explain all things doom to people... :)

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Wed Aug 12, 2020 8:09 am
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Post Re: Façade : The Eternal Dance

Merchant of Doom wrote:
I've given up trying to explain all things doom to people... :)

I’m right there with you everywhere except here – this is still called Doom-metal.com, after all. :;): This place used to be a lone beacon of wisdom in an ocean of ignorance… :p (Oh boy, I really sound like a jaded, pretentious old arse!) I therefore feel that, in an ideal world, the site should adhere to its tradition and definitions; we actually have definitions of the subgenres. But I do realise that nobody can impose those definitions on everyone who contributes reviews; after all, people’s backgrounds differ.

baphomet wrote:
The thing is the most extreme forms of Doom have reached a much wider audience nowadays, and to this public more accustomed to faster genres, anything that conveys a more restrained, atmospheric, solemn and technically deliberatly slow approach is so far from their usual standards in Metal that the term "Funeral" has been elected as the all-encompassing tag to describe all these productions that play their part more slowly, in haftones and with more circumspection than the music these people are used to listen to.

It's a vain fight to try to curb this new tendency to use this label extensively as it implicitly reflects its marginal status: if all extreme forms of doom are non-conformist enough to receive this overall tag, if they 're bound to constitute such a strong counter-example to the more popular styles, I think one must rejoice to the fact it only proves that the radicality of "Funeral doom"is still acknowledged by the majority, even if it's badly interpreted.

There’s a lot of truth to this, no doubt. Your observations tie in well with Mike’s summary of the general perception (“if it isn't Stoner, it must be Funeral”).

Merch and bapho, I’m curious: do you find the album that experimental? I’m almost starting to doubt my own perception, but I wasn’t exaggerating when I stated that I wasn’t sure I was listening to the same album discussed in the review.

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Wed Aug 12, 2020 3:43 pm
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Post Re: Façade : The Eternal Dance

d.mimøsa wrote:
Merchant of Doom wrote:
I've given up trying to explain all things doom to people... :)

I’m right there with you everywhere except here – this is still called Doom-metal.com, after all. :;): This place used to be a lone beacon of wisdom in an ocean of ignorance… :p (Oh boy, I really sound like a jaded, pretentious old arse!) I therefore feel that, in an ideal world, the site should adhere to its tradition and definitions; we actually have definitions of the subgenres. But I do realise that nobody can impose those definitions on everyone who contributes reviews; after all, people’s backgrounds differ.


I didn't mean here... but in general.

d.mimøsa wrote:
Merch and bapho, I’m curious: do you find the album that experimental? I’m almost starting to doubt my own perception, but I wasn’t exaggerating when I stated that I wasn’t sure I was listening to the same album discussed in the review.


Personally, I don't find it that experimental... it's a progressive doom/death album to me... and absolutely no Funeral Doom or trance... :laugh:

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Thu Aug 13, 2020 8:52 am
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Post Re: Façade : The Eternal Dance

Thanks, that is very reassuring indeed regarding my sanity! :D

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Thu Aug 13, 2020 8:55 am
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d.mimøsa wrote:
Thanks, that is very reassuring indeed regarding my sanity! :D


You are welcome! I'm listening to it again now... it's actually a lot better than I remember. And, with all respect, it's not the first time I read a review of this particular contributor and thought... WTF is he on about? :D

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Thu Aug 13, 2020 9:09 am
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Post Re: Façade : The Eternal Dance

'experimental' lets forsee a rather bolder songwriting. It's true though that you hear the band tried hard to come up with original hooks and rythms that ,if they don't offer a drastically original experience, are still more inventive and challenging than what the average bands usually bring to the table. It's experimental in regards to the vaster pool of projects favouring (and that's not a flaw) a more 'standardised' approach.

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Thu Aug 13, 2020 9:11 am
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