Profetus - ...To Open the Passages in Dusk
Weird Truth Productions
Funeral Doom
4 songs (58:12)
Release year: 2012
Profetus, Weird Truth Productions
Reviewed by Charles
Funeral doom does not get more funereal. Ironically, this is the last record I’d want played at my own farewell do, for fear that it would ramp the sheer misery of the occasion (er, hopefully) up to levels of preposterous, self-parodying woe. Because Profetus ladle on the sadness as if it were the gravy distributed by an extremely straight-faced dinnerlady. Glacially slow tempos, sickly guitar tone, despondent vocal gurgling (or sometimes just vague murmuring), are all nicely topped off by a ubiquitous church organ, whose sustained tones luxuriate in morbidity. An acquired taste, obviously, but …To Open the Passages in Dusk is an impressive work nonetheless, which will rightfully sneak some way up the end-of-year lists for this sort of music, if there’s any goodness in the world. Which, clearly, if you believe Profetus, there isn’t.

The restraint possessed by the drummers on these sorts of records is remarkable, given that you could fit an entire solo into the spaces between each beat, much of the time. Clearly, the fact that this temptation is always resisted speaks volumes of the ethos at work here. Tracks are uniformly depressed and lethargic, apart from the brief burst into sodden double-kick drumming in The Shoreless, which feels a bit like selling out (joke). They drift without grip or friction for an absolute minimum of twelve minutes, generally defying the urge to blossom into recognisable climaxes, cementing their intent as music for long, dark nights. There are melodies, like the curious, disinterested guitar patterns that slither out of the haze two-thirds of the way through opener When Autumn Cries a Fiery Canticle, providing a hook, of sorts. But the point of the record is really to wallow in horror precisely without reaching any sort of concrete destination. It is music for the aftermath of a crippling final defeat, without even the faintest hope of revenge or redemption. This is why the church organ serves such a useful purpose here- unlike a piano, it’s the kind of instrument where you can press a key down and the sound will remain without fading for as long as your muscles hold out.

Profetus belong up there with the best funeral doom has to offer, in my view- though I wouldn’t call myself an expert on the genre- soaked as it is in mournful melody and exhausted emotion. Identifying highlights seems somewhat fruitless, but if pushed I would direct you to The Shoreless: a poignant chord progression loops around and around, with those single organ tones augmenting the sound so aptly that the whole thing conjures a black-clad trudge to a rainy cemetery. A clichéd image, for sure, and a clichéd way to describe funeral doom. But still, I suspect, the point.

Killing Songs :
When Autumn Cries a Fiery Canticle, The Shoreless
Charles quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Profetus that we have reviewed:
Profetus - The Sadness of Time Passing reviewed by Alex and quoted 72 / 100
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