Longing For Dawn - Between Elation And Despair
Ambient Funeral Doom
4 songs (52:13)
Release year: 2009
Longing For Dawn, Grau
Reviewed by Goat

Canadian gloomsters Longing For Dawn have been bewailing their existence for seven years and three albums now, and their latest opus of despair might be the most miserable yet. With just four tracks, the shortest being over nine minutes long, the band seem made to measure for the hardcore Funeral Doom set, yet there’s something satisfactory about Between Elation And Despair in all its magnificent sorrow, a real emotional workout that is the aural equivalent of the moment Bambi’s mother gets shot.

Yet this effect is far from obvious; there’s plenty of epic ambience, such as on Reflective, reminiscent of Burzum or even Negură Bunget at their best. Longing For Dawn prove more than capable throughout of building and releasing the enormous slabs of tension that make up the best examples of Funeral Doom. Of course, it’s down to you, dear listener, as to which band that plays this extremely emotional form of music tugs at the heartstrings the most, but it’s a fair bet that Longing For Dawn will be in the top five. It’s amazing just how deep this album is; the fantastic echoes of sixteen-minute closer The Piscean Dawn alone are the stuff of legend, and worth the purchase price for itself. Fine, Longing For Dawn aren’t as fantastically psychedelic as Esoteric are, but there’s something distinctly otherworldly about the music here, the druidic choirs resounding through your mind and making it all seem like the soundtrack to a particularly creepy Scientologist ceremony rather than merely a bunch of guys playing slowly.

That’s where Longing For Dawn’s strength lies, really – not in the growls and big riffs, but in what lies between. The opening to first track Our Symbolic Burial is very effective, with ambience building, distant trumpets sound a clarion call as the Metal part itself comes to life. It’s like My Dying Bride meets Jesu, taken to its natural conclusion and completely unworried about song lengths; the sound of, not so much glaciers forming, as the usual reviewer’s cliché is, but the sound of massive towers falling, crumbling to the ground in slow motion as you watch with the full knowledge that everyone you love is inside.

Obviously, this isn’t easy-listening Doom and will be too much for a good 80% of people reading, but it’s well worth losing yourself in if you enjoy lengthy pieces of music that require patience and stillness from the listener in order to truly work their magic – one of the magic 20% who are capable of appreciating this without moaning about a lack of catchiness or that you can’t headbang to it. Between Elation And Despair belongs to that body of music which you don’t so much listen to as experience, and an excellent experience it is.

Killing Songs :
Our Symbolic Burial, Sunrise At Your Feet, Reflective, The Piscean Dawn
Goat quoted 84 / 100
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