Two years ago the Finnish funeral doom/death metal outfit, Convocation, took a recreative approach to the aesthetics of this sub-genre. The members of Desolate Shrine (LL) and Dark Buddha Rising (MN) joined forces to deliver a horrifying experience of their well-proportioned crescendo. In the most obscured form of funeral doom metal, the Finnish duet achieved new standards of musical cohesion. And through their debut album, ‘Scars Across’, released via Everlasting Spew Records, they imbued the music with slow, monolithic tempos of sludgy guitar riffs. Along the lines of the forefathers of funeral doom such as Thergothon and Skepticism, Convocation extracted the slow crawling riffs and interlaced them with a dreadful atmosphere.
But now it seems that the cauldron has turned darker than ever to match the menacing gloom of their sophomore craft. ‘Ashes Coalesce‘ sounds truly threatening compared to the debut effort. From the onset of the opening, monolithic cut, ‘Martyrise’, it seems that Convocation has revved up the pace and increased the effectiveness of their pulverizing heavy riffs. Alongside these nightmarish soundscapes and the menacing drones of the towering lead guitars, the somber melodies conjure up horrible visions of doom, leaving you awed and overblown by the vastness of their elaborated complexity. Convocation succeeded in creating a dark and brooding atmosphere that contrasts with the plodding riffs. Yet there is something more to the context of the music and despite the complexity, the songs are stuffed with frightening motions.
The crashing sound of the guitar riffs and the shedding synth cast dark, eerie melodies. ‘Ashes Coalesce’ is full of these mysterious moments that make the sophomore strange, yet beautiful. Over forty-five minutes, the duets present a captivating piece of gloomy and dismal elements that work together flawlessly. The synth work is absolutely haunting and creates a constant backdrop of ghostly shades acting as an atmospheric backbone to the four epic tracks. While still overly dramatic and dark like the debut, ‘Ashes Coalesce’ seems beautiful and ominous at the same time. The duets arranged effective compositions and other elements to add more gloomy themes to the music. Between the maddening growls and the shrieking shrills, the sonic convulsions are portrayed in its most horrid way. The soft tuned guitars on the following track, ‘The Absence of Grief’ are soaked deep in the trademarks of funeral doom.
Every element of this track fits within the funeral parade of the dismal guitar melodies where the synth provides a ghostly atmosphere. There are various elements from other funeral doom metal acts such as Mournful Congregation and Evoken. As the deep growls echo, the music takes a repetitive course and the riffs go ablaze with the thundering sound of pounding drums. Convocation creates many desolate themes as the songs take you on a deep journey to the ghostly domains of the funeral doom realm. Each instrument like the guitars, synth and drums unravels wretched melodies and they all seem to perfectly fit into the song texture. The soft-touch of the piano instrument clearly brings something unique to this song.
Almost fashionable and reformed, the band uncovers a new mindset to explore deeply the atmospheric patterns of funeral doom metal. The lush use of synth shows the overt inspiration from bands like Shape of Despair which resonates clearly. ‘Misery Form’ includes a beautiful chorale at the end of its final moments when the song builds on the slow tempo of the sludgy guitars. Followed by rhythmic drum blows, the eerie clean vocals and the shrieking become more focused.
Convocation often veers towards creating an ominous feel and this is to say that the songs require your attention. ‘Portal Close’ is a pure illustration of what funeral doom metal is all about. The guitars evolve into a kind of slow tempo as the band expands its craft to cover the beautiful, atmospheric ambiance. Convocation on the sophomore treads solemnly in the footsteps of their forefathers. ‘Ashes Coalesce‘ is a masterwork of utter genius, forged in a high standard of profundity, an absolute milestone in the band’s career who managed to create a contemporary simulation of nineties funeral doom metal. Highly recommend for fans of Mournful Congregation, Thergothon, and Shape of Despair.
Release Date: July 3rd, 2020
Label: Everlasting Spew Records
- The Absence of Grief
- Misery Form
- Portal Closed