Twenty-one years after Thergothon’s Stream From The Heavens, funeral doom’s DNA had been clearly identified: mostly of Finnish descent, its overlong epic dirges are like desperate messages-in-a-bottle in an ocean of sadness, swamped in layers of mournful synths and minimalistic drums.
Lycus, featuring former Deafheaven drummer Trevor Deschryver, beg to differ. Slow as fuck and even more majestic when they resonate through occasional Gregorian chants, they’re ethereal yet grounded, their crunchy sound recalling the grandeur of the sadly defunct Portland doom overlords Ocean (not The Ocean) and Mindrot.
But instead of standing still while we witness their downfall, they’re shaken by a sudden outburst of rage à la Disembowelment or let a solemn cello or uplifting shoegaze phrases pierce through their otherwise thick mist.
Yet while they’ve restrained themselves from going overboard (Chasms is ‘only’ 43 minutes’ long) and as crushing as the result is, they never fully fulfil their promise, as if stopped at the front door of the whole new dimension they initially set out to explore.