Slow - IV Mythologiæ (redux) [Code 666 - 2019]With-in Doom metal there is a sub-genre, characterized by a very slow pace. And this is Funeral Doom. As a style is not particularly monolithic, but, there are a few different sounding bands with in it. Starting from the brutality of the Rigor Sardonicous and the gloomy rawness of Nortt, onto the epic of Shape Of Despair and the psychedelic experiments of Esoteric. The only facet that remains unchanged though-out the sub-genre is the very slow tempo of the compositions.
The Belgian Funeral Doom / Ambient project Slow was launched by a musician named Déhà in 2007. Over the band existence they’ve released, one demo and six full-length albums- as well as an ambient remix of the album I’m reviewing today. In 2015, the Russian label GS Productions originally released IV Mythologiæ, and here we have a redux/ reissue of the album
This new edition which was re-recorded, re-mixed and re-mastered, was released by the Belgian label Code666, which is a sub-label of Aural Music. It's released in the form of a Double LP in translucent white vinyl, Double LP in Cream & Black swirl vinyl, Digipack CD and digital version. These are all available for ordering on Code666 website and on Bandcamp page of Aural Music.
On the cover of the album, we see a black background, in the middle of which is a stylized rhombus made up of a photo of a foggy mountain valley in the lower corner, smoke or fog escaping from a rhombus, as well as something like hazy ruins in the upper corner. In the centre are large black Roman numerals IV, as if located in the distance. Against the background of these numbers is the name of the project Slow, made in plain white font. just below is the name of the album Mythologi?, made in the same font, but smaller.
The cover is created in monochrome style, however, it is processed in such a way that the white colour is replaced with the ivory colour, and the presence of a blue tint is noticeable in black. In general, the cover is an excellent bit of creative design work, perfectly conveying the atmosphere of the album and made in a mystical way with hints of surrealism.
The album has a total duration of one hour twelve minutes and twelve seconds consists of six rather long tracks, the last of which is a bonus track. As I mentioned early, Funeral Doom is a fairly extensive genre in terms of the approach to writing music and sound. Slow teetered on the verge of Doom and Ambient, sometimes, possibly, invading Drone. Very atmospheric and melodic keyboard passages are harmoniously combined with deep guitar parts that do not play the main role, but rather are a tool for giving the overall sound more depth and atmosphere. The same can be said about the part of the bass guitar, which is clearly audible, but its sound is so soft that it does not disturb the general sublime mood. Of course, there are drums here. I can’t say that the drum parts are particularly original. But in the genre of Funeral Doom, drums play the role of a simple rhythm section, for which no special skill is needed. The vocals are presented here in several variations, the main of which are typical for Doom-metal low growling, as well as atmospheric clean singing chorals.
I would call the atmosphere of the album - Majestic sadness. All compositions are made, mainly in minor colours, however, major passages are sometimes heard through the wall of the atmosphere. I really liked the sound quality on this album. It creates a sense of integrity and indivisibility. Despite the fact that there is an ambient version of this album, this redux version should be as it is.
The keys, guitars, drums and vocals work so harmoniously together that they merge into a single sound stream. While listening, I lost the border between the tracks and perceived this album as one sound canvas. So, we have a great album in the Atmospheric Funeral Doom genre, more to the Ambient. As for comparisons, I say a mix of Shape of Dispair or Scepticism with Vidna Obmana. But this comparison is rather superficial.
Of course, I checked out the previous version of IV Mythologiæ I can say that, despite the excellent sound quality, the original album loses out to this new ‘redux’ version. The new version is more atmospheric, airy and light, but not in terms of sound, but in terms of perceptions and sensations left after listening. Sometimes it happens that after some time, even a great album can be improved if you approach this process by considering all the nuancesSergey Pakhomov