Faal - Desolate Grief album review

Dutch miserablists continue to plough their funereal furrow

Cover art for Faal - Desolate Grief album

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Now active for more than a decade, Desolate Grief marks Faal’s third full-length album release, following their 2015 split with superb UK outfit Eye Of Solitude. This Netherlands-based six-piece specialise in funeral doom, their compositions continuing to offer a suitably bitter and dejected ambience throughout. On occasion, the emotive compositions are underlined by simple keyboards, bringing a touch of colour to this often monochromatic work. The press bio talks of a ‘varied approach’, though each 10-minute song sounds reasonably similar in style – not necessarily a criticism, since the accumulative emotional weight gives the work additional depth. And while talk of ‘post-rock touches’ also seem superfluous, there are enough twists in these compositions to keep the interest going – though the vocals always remain fairly undynamic – with moments of piano or clean guitar surfacing periodically, alongside more upbeat metal passages.