Comatose Vigil - Narcosis (EP)
Solitude Productions
Funeral Doom
3 songs (36'53")
Release year: 2006
Comatose Vigil, Solitude Productions
Reviewed by Adam
Funeral doom, by nature, is bleak and depressive. Despite this, I’ve always found the bands that master this style to be strangely uplifting. Perhaps that is why it continues to be one of the most interesting and intriguing genres of metal for me. Back in 2005, I purchased an album fittingly titled Not a Gleam of Hope by Russian band Comatose Vigil after reading several glowing reviews on the web. This album still sees regular rotation in my CD player, though I have been reluctant to put them alongside the giants of the genre like Evoken, Shape of Despair, or Esoteric because of their limited catalog. Needless to say, I was pretty excited upon receiving their lastest output from their new label Solitude Productions, a teaser containing both Russian and English sung versions of Narcosis, the first single from the upcoming album, as well as an additional bonus track.

Comatose Vigil is a band that, much like the greats of funeral doom previously listed, creates a suffocating atmosphere and ambience that engages a listener in a way that bands of other genres cannot duplicate. The massive, 15 minute track Narcosis is a splendid example of this dynamic. The chaotic, jabbing synth intro creates a frightening aura that is furthered by the hard-hitting riff and deep, grunted vocal added around one minute in. Comatose Vigil have chosen to keep somewhat of a shroud of mystery over themselves, as the band roster cannot be found in the liner notes, while each member is listed as a simple “?” on the label website. Though I can’t quite give credit to the band members by name because of this fact, it doesn’t lessen the quality of what they have created with Narcosis. I really enjoy how, despite the snail’s pace kept throughout, the music manages to sound frenzied and chaotic through the use of contrasting keyboard and guitar notes. The vocals, though mostly your standard funeral doom low grunt, take the forefront a few times. Particularly worth mentioning is the sustained grunting yell immediately following a short break in the music around the 7:30 mark, which is positively spine chilling. I can only hope the rest of the album will follow in this vein.

The shorter, untitled bonus track keeps a much quicker pace than its predecessor. Curiously, the feeling of this song is decidedly more upbeat than Narcosis due to the more melodious keyboard lines in the background. The vocals approach a deeply sung gothic style at times, and the song even contains a guitar passage that could be mistaken for a solo. This track is quite an experiment, and a nice bonus that makes this single worth purchasing. All in all, this single more than accomplished its purpose, furthering my palpable anticipation of Comatose Vigil’s forthcoming album. If they continue unleashing songs like Narcosis, mentioning them alongside the best funeral doom bands will become a necessity.
Killing Songs :
Narcosis, Bonus Track
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