As All Seasons Die

Written by: MST on 01/09/2014 23:06:16

With " Open the Passages in Dusk", Finland's funeral doomsters Profetus released what was easily my favourite album of the year 2012. A monolithic, depressive and completely devastating album that I will never tire of, it simply did everything right. Such a masterpiece is never easy to follow, but this year the band are attempting just that with "As All Seasons Die", a short (for the genre) 37 minute album that the band themselves call an EP. Except for 7-minute song almost entirely dedicated to a guest performance by Mournful Congregation guitarist Justin Hartwig, the album sounds pretty much exactly as expected.

After a short 4-minute intro, "A Reverie (Midsummer's Dying Throes)" opens the album instantly with drums thundering away at the speed of continental drift, with cavernous growls, depressive riffing and an almost everpresent organ to truly set the mood to 'funeral'. This is music designed for completely submerging oneself into the abyss, as the slowly progressing riffs only strengthen the hopeless feel of the album as time passes, ever so slowly. Bits of lamenting spoken word vocals appear here and there, both in quieter moments and accompanied by the band's usual melancholic soundscape. This is classic Profetus and indeed classic depressive funeral doom, and when done right this type of music is extremely effective at conjuring up emotions for the right listener.

An album should always be judged by itself, but since Profetus haven't changed their style on "As All Seasons Die" I can't not compare this to its mighty predecessor which received the highest grade I have ever given. While the style is largely unaltered here, the strengths of the album's compositions are slightly different; the songs on "As All Seasons Die" spend little time building up tension, and rely almost solely on direct release of emotion. There are several moments on the album, especially in album highlight "A Reverie (Midsummer's Dying Throes)", that could be counted among the great, but because of the way the album is built it's just not quite as effective. This brings us to the next point of focus: with the album's short length, it feels like the journey almost ends before it gets started. It makes sense that Profetus want to call this release an EP in that regard, but it matters not in terms of overall quality; the 37-minute release simply doesn't accomplish nearly as much as the band's earlier releases did.

Note, however, that the above points of criticism are meant to explain why this isn't an absolutely brilliant release worthy of a top grade, and they come from a fan who was hoping for such a release. Focusing on the material at hand, there are definitely good things to discover on "As All Seasons Die"; the riffs are good, the classic Profetus organ still works well in the soundscape, and the inclusion of Justin Hartwig's solo in "Dead Are Our Leaves Of Autumn" is interesting if nothing else. Perhaps "As All Seasons Die" would be a good place for new listeners to start their journey through the lands of funeral doom, but once that journey is complete there are much richer fields to be discovered.


Download: A Reverie (Midsummer's Dying Throes)
For The Fans Of: Shape Of Despair, Tyranny, Thergothon, Skepticism
Listen: Facebook

Release date 13.06.2014
Ahdistuksen Aihio Productions

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