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Marche Funèbre – Into The Arms of Darkness

Marche Funèbre
Into The Arms of Darkness
by Jose MaCall at 02 August 2017, 1:09 PM

It is a burden that weighs you down. The sense of impending dread strains every movement and taxes every breath. You fight agonizingly for every step as you contemplate the meaninglessness of impermanence in an infinite uncaring void. Is it nihilism to come upon this realization? The rumination causes a hanging tension, the anxiety chips away at composure as you begin to sweat. Is there really a point in going forward when struggle is the… Oh no wait, your backpack was too heavy. That’s it, there you go! Take a load off, I’ll bet that feels better, huh? What do you even have in there, a Christmas ham? A favorite bowling ball? Oh no, that’s what was weighting you down?  A copy of “Into The Arms Of Darkness” by MARCHE FUNÈBRE and it’s HEAVY.

Let’s look here; the album cover is what appears to be some kind of naked lady who is being water boarded with blood. Intense! I don’t think this is Geneva Convention approved at all. OK enough with the nonsense. What we have here is a great Blackened Doom Metal album. That’s what I’m going to pick as the genre, feel free to pick your own and maybe take it to a forum on the internet where other people will more than likely argue against you and they will definitely be wrong. This band has a name that is also that famous song for marching at funerals, and as we can guess, this is very gloomy and doomy and whatnot.

Personally I dug the fusion of the two elements. The vocals come in two varieties: loud, harsh black metal growls and clean singing of a more sorrowful tone similar to a CANDLEMASS. It works, strangely enough. It took me a bit to warm up to it, but after a few listens I really liked the contrast. It breaks up the songs nicely; I frankly wish a few more elements of Black Metal were taken (only a small segment near the end of the album ever really goes “krieg”), but this is a bleak album for grey days, not a hateful declaration of war. This is definitely an introspective album meant for long walks and time alone.

The shortest song is over eight minutes long. Each track is a voyage through various compositions and arrangements that are genuinely catchy and calming throughout. There are killer riffs, muted post-rocky segments, lurching Doom processions, this wake has it all! It’s hard to take a stab at describing every song but as an example, “Lullaby Of Insanity” dives between several highs and lows. It picks up the pace for a little bit before declining into a hypnotic incantation that suddenly tears into high gear with brutal roars and face-ripping guitars. There’s a rad part where the chorus becomes “Sink into Oblivion!” that’s followed by a phenomenal melody of shredding goodness.

There are so many contrasting segments in the composition of songs that re-listening to this album was a joy, just so I could fully appreciate all the layers involved. The drumming is great and features a lot of changes in tempo that, frankly, made all the changes in style of play all the more impressive when you consider 10 plus minutes of song to remember. Everything is mixed well, the bass is complementary but never really stands out on its own much: nothing necessarily good or bad, just observations.

All in all, I say if you’re going to listen to this album you may want to get some sort of neck rigging to keep your spine from snapping due to all the head banging you’ll be doing. I would say fans of stuff like MOURNFUL CONGREGATION and ALTAR OF OBLIVION as well as the aforementioned CANDLEMASS should stuff this into their ears. Black Metal fans feeling adventurous (I understand that leaving those frozen woods/dark caves/parent’s houses’ attics can be intimidating) who are looking for something a little more melodic than a XASTHUR or SVEDHOUS or other Suicidal/Depressive Black Metal bands (Internet genre tantrum incoming in…) or maybe something a little more mellow than a BORKNAGAR should check this out.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Deprived (Into Darkness)
2. Capital of Rain
3. Uneven
4. Lullaby of Insanity
5. The Garden of All Things Wild    
Lineup:
Arne Vandenhoeck - vocals
Peter Egberghs - lead guitars and vocals
Kurt Blommé - rhythm guitars
Boris Iolis – bass and vocals
Dennis Lefebvre – drums
Record Label: Solitude Productions
     


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