FUNERAL MOTH - Transience / VINYL LP (Black, ltd. 200)
• 140gr. vinyl
• 350gr. Gatefold sleeve printed inside-out
• 250gr. art paper insert
• Polylined paper bags
• Outer plastic sleeve
• Collector's edition: 75 hand-numbered copies on Clear vinyl
• Black vinyl edition: 200 copies
• BAND FUNERAL MOTH (Japan)
• TITLE Transience
• CAT. # TR63
• RELEASE DATE July 2016
• FORMAT VINYL LP
• RUNNING TIME 40 minutes
• FILE UNDER Post-Doom, Post-Sludge, Dark Ambient, Ritual, Funeral Doom
— DECIBEL MAGAZINE | dB rating: 9/10 | Quiet bloom of the soul —
"If you are fortunate enough to be yet vulnerable to extreme metal’s effects, e.g. if minor chords played slowly leave you crestfallen, if soaring solos lift your spirits, if blast beats make your eye twitch with rising ire, then approach Funeral Moth’s sophomore album, Transience, with caution. For not only have these Japanese doom weavers completely revolutionized their sound, and quite possibly the whole of funeral doom along with it, they have also crafted the most crushing, yet most introspective, sublime and heartfelt record I’ve heard since Thergothon’s Fhtagn nagh Yog-Sothoth. Seriously. I was cleaning my apartment when I first jammed Transience, and not a minute in I had to lie on the floor and just close my eyes. It was like yoga for my metal sensibilities.
Like Hex-era Earth enlisted Niko Skorpio to help them score some lost Kurosawa masterpiece, the riffs—what else to call them?—seem paced by some lunar pull. The vocals are sparse, but always outstanding. Growls croaked by some monster with two heads of varying size and vocal timbres segue into dirge-throated oms then into whispers like dying oaths from a self-disemboweled samurai. All while the sundry instrumentation wraps around you like a cocoon, as if Funeral Moth were in the room with you, ghosts, but unquestionably present. And although there will be a particular feeling Transience gives you, every time you hear this record it will sound somehow different. Certain refrains you’ll remember, but nuances will shift. Such is the parallax of an artistic monument."
— CVLT NATION —
"Funeral Moth are, in their own words, an “extreme doom” band from the Kanazawa Prefecture of Japan, and Transience is their second album, released earlier this year on Weird Truth Productions on CD and coming soon on Throne Records on LP (pre-order here). Like most things coming from Japan, especially in the extreme spectrum of things, if shit’s already weird and out there over here, in Japan the same aesthetics are usually taken to the next level of crazy, with every extreme aspect of the craft just taken to almost ridiculous new extremes.
So it is with Transience, and what makes this record so special is that it took an already extreme form of funeral – slow motion tormented doom – and made it even more extreme, even slower, more absurd, and more alienating than what one could bear, and overall just even more fucking insanely death-like. In these two massive movements of slow-moving sonic torture, you will be set up against an immeasurable hardship as you desperately try to crawl away from death and navigate yourself out of the black hole carved into your reality by Funeral Moth.
Their music sounds like a gaping void, like the open mouth of Hades, and it slowly slants reality, making everything drift towards it in an unescapable crumbling dirge, until everything finally is sucked into its death. The most insane thing about this band is that it takes interminable minutes for this whole sonic demise to happen. It’s like witnessing someone’s agonizing death at one millionth of normal speed. Of course, the music is grandiose and wildly crafted, full of incredible cleans and sustained haunting atmospheres, drooping and sadness-torn growls, blood-chilling funeral doom passages, and crushing sloth-like riffs. If you like shit like Mournful Congregation, Tyranny, Corrupted, Aldebaran, Loss, Thergoton, Skepticism, and other similar void-filled and slow-moving sonic aberrations made with the sole objective to slowly drain you of all life, then you will fucking love Funeral Moth. Get ready for this pup to become the funeral doom album of the year – it will be hard to top in the next months."
— DOOM-METAL.COM | 9 / 10 —
"Have you ever come across an album where you knew in your gut beforehand that it was going to be something extraordinary? This is the exact feeling I experienced upon first holding Funeral Moth's sophomore full-length 'Transience' in my hands. The lovely white Digipak album packaging in itself reflects much tastefulness - characteristic of a band with high maturity, humility and honesty in expression. Upon delving further into the music, one will be thrilled to realize the aforementioned qualities only represent the beginning. Indeed there is SO much more to this band below the surface of their impressive album cover.
To cover the basics, Funeral Moth are an extreme doom outfit hailing from Japan and have been active since 2005. Employing a traditional 4-piece lineup, the band consists of Makoto Fujishima (guitars/vocals),Tomohiro Kanja (guitars), Yuichiro Azegami (drums) and the welcome new member Ryo Amamiya on bass duties, effectively replacing founding member Nobuyuki Sento.
Their musical style may be conveyed as extremely slow, dark and harrowing Funeral Doom - yet ironically - equally rejuvenating and soul-empowering. However, there is nothing traditional about Funeral Moth's style of Funeral Doom. The band allows ample room for experimentation within their compositions, all of which interweave masterfully to provide memorable sonic voyages for the earnest traveller's heart and mind.
To provide an introductory overview of what the 'Transience' journey entails, the following words from the band themselves sum it up best: "Tremendous agony in which we suffer on our transient mortal life; feeling of loss, endless sorrow, sense of emptiness and remorse. This album is dedicated to the voiceless dead who had returned to the tranquil ocean with mortal agony". The 2-title tracklist is anything but minimal as it may appear - both 'Transience' and 'Lost' embody two mammoth pieces of generous Doom clocking in at 21:59 and 17:54 minutes respectively.
It is indeed challenging to describe music which in itself invokes emotional and spiritual properties that transcend the limiting realm of verbal/written language. However, I will say this: 'Transience' is not an album that sits in the more mainstream category of bands which are appreciated on the level of 'entertainment' or aesthetic value. On the contrary, it directs the listener inward - whether to explore the complexities and inner workings of the self or to contemplate the outermost infinite nature of the cosmos. Either way, 'Transience' serves as a powerful tool of exploration for the prospective listener's prerogative, be it an emotional, spiritual or psychological one.
The organic approach to production on the album is highly commendable and very much complementary to the style and feel of the band's musical performance. Despite the harshness of droning guitar distortions and Makoto's bellowing growls, there is something truly 'inviting' about the album's production style which easily draws the listener in. The level of musicianship shared between the quartet is extremely high - all the more impressive given the band's minimalistic employment of instrumental and compositional arrangement. Last but not least, of noteworthy mention is the prominence of Ryo's solid bass contributions. The instrument stands out distinctively and adds much dynamism to the overall sound of the band - a rare quality given that the bass in traditional Doom ensembles generally seem to hide in the shadows of the guitars with the sole function of providing low-end emphasis.
To sum up, 'Transience' is just an incredible album that implores a dedicated listen. This is possibly the best album I've heard in months, and one that I would highly recommend for the doom-seeker who prefers bands that undertake a more mature approach towards the genre (i.e Mournful Congregation, Asunder, Corrupted). Interested parties can make a jump onto Funeral Moth's Bandcamp page to obtain a digital copy of 'Transience', or perhaps consider spending a couple of extra dollars to acquire the lovely digipak-CD on offer - definitely a notable album to add to one's personal collection. After that, be sure to check out their equally phenomenal debut full-length 'Dense Fog.'
— ECHOES & DUST —
"This stunning new album from Funeral Moth opens up vast, desolate, mournful panoramas of doom. Over the course of just two tracks (the first just over, the second just under 20 minutes) and a restrained palette of hanging-in-the-air tones matched with a powerful gruff roar, the record has the listener travelling over unforgiving expanses of grey wasteland.
The title track on the first side heads off with a crystal, ringing clear sound, with the slightly jarring notes allowed to soak into the surrounding air. Before long, of course, there is a burst of low, low growling distortion, which supplements and carries rather than obliterates the delicate guitar line. Then another sawing tone skewers and strings out the haunting melody, over measured punches of reverberating bass and crash cymbal. It’s a great intro, powerful but controlled, well-thought-out sounds arranged for maximum effect. In its reserved, quiet waiting for devastating, crushing doom impacts it’s reminiscent of Corrupted’s Mundo Frio. It’s not quite as extreme as that record (which features perhaps the heaviest drop ever, after ten full minutes of harp twinkling), but it’s high praise indeed that Funeral Moth seem comfortable in that company. Later in the track there’s a great slow, repeated rising twin guitar line, which then drifts into more expressive territory at a completely confident, unhurried pace of detached exploration. Even the demon vocals tread a path between contemplation and shrieking horror- in everything about this record there’s a perfect balance between the quiet passages in which you can feel the oceanic power being held back, and the loud raging bits which still keep that sombre, reflective atmosphere.
The other track, ‘Lost’, is similarly epic and uses a closely-related set of sounds and moves. The phrasing in the early parts of the track is great, with the emphasis half stepping off some chords before the next smashing impact, creating an engagingly intricate sense to the creaking and thudding. The structure is similar to the previous track in parts, such as where the guitars start to rise again together, followed by a doubled whisper in the vocals. And in fact, it’s not dissimilar to their previous full-length Dense Fog. But the particular developments of the tracks here are second to the world they create, an monochrome but beautifully textured evocation of the slow exhaling of a post-human world. Transience and loss, certainly, but heard from somewhere far beyond their effects."
— THE SOMBER LANE —
"Never heard of Funeral Moth before, and the label “Doom metal” never gets me excited. But this time around the genre-label suddenly changed into “Funeral Doom Metal”…which was so irresistible to me!
But I would have never thought I was going to discover the best album of 2016, and also probably amongst my all-time favorite records of this crushing sub-genre.
But hell! My expectations have been wrecked by Transience.
It’s unique in the funeral doom circle. It’d be perfect as ambient record, if it wasn’t for the disturbing vocals. It may be post-rock if it was faster. But sure thing, it is stunning.
It’s divided in two tracks. The first one we encounter is also the title-track, let’s call it the odd one. A dense knot of weaves of both distorted and clean guitars lays the background for this 22-minute epic to grown and live. Transience is calm and peaceful in a huge disturbing way. Almost creepy. As a slow march towards a closure still unknown.
Personally it makes me feel like I’m floating into nothingness, lost and forlorn. In a void sea where there isn’t any sound, any noise or any other life form. Fear and happiness don’t exist in here, as well as life and death don’t belong. Just an infinite horizon of emptiness where you can linger for the eternity of time.
Lost instead returns to Earth, maybe. It’s more canonical, no doubt. But that aura of sublime alienation remains with this second yet last track. But Funeral Moth dropped the ace here, with a behemoth tune that brings Funeral Doom metal to a new level.
Vocals become more aggressive, raw and miserable. Guitars, bass and drums start to hit harder drawing few divine moments. We can’t count many riffs here, but the few present are just remarkable. The closing one, for example, it’s fu**ing easy, but yet so effective and profound. Terrific!
This song is also embellished by gentle blows of drums, and the bass guitar that still works on the deep specter to bear the whole imagery of deprivation.
And yet after 39 turns of the clock I arrived at the end. It seems like I lived in another dimension all along during the time the album was spinning. But the return to reality is sick, and made me realize how pitiful and worthless our human condition is.
Still at the very end of this sorrowful journey, I just have to clap my hands to this perfect album."
— THE KILLCHAIN —
"Japanese doom lords Funeral Moth are unleashing their latest masterpiece ‘Transience’ upon us, and what a glorious two tracks of crushing misery and melancholy it seems to be. Dark introspection hides within these spacious and minimalist riffs.
First track ‘Transience’ moves at a funereal pace, with echoes of latter period Earth in amongst the rumbling growls. Mournful riffing does appear in patches, but it is mainly clean guitar with glacial melodies and an overreaching sense of sadness and despair. There’s a kinship between this record and the ‘The Bees Made Honey in the Lion’s Skull’, but Funeral Moth is a little faster, and their vocals are definitely more brutal. ‘Lost’ is more guttural, more raw, more intense in its delivery. It has some of the more insistent moments, and more of the riffing, but the glacial, almost post metal parts are swelling and uplifting in a way that helps raise you from the miasmic gloom.
An almost meditational album, where the doom comes from the inward seeking viewpoint, the search for inner peace amongst the turmoil of modern life. ‘Transience’ is the most peaceful doom record you’ll hear this year, and yet still one of the most crushing.
‘Transience’ is an album that offers little in the way of riffs, yet a huge amount in the way of atmosphere, with a haunting minimalist approach that leaves you with open spaces to pour your own interpretations. Proof that music doesn’t need to be laden with riffs to be soul destroying poignant and heavy."
— WONDERBOX METAL —
"This is the second album from Japanese Funeral Doom band Funeral Moth.
Funeral Moth’s music is comprised of sparse, slow riffs that create atmosphere through space and elongated emotion rather than outright heaviness or pure distortion. It’s a slightly different approach than most artists of this ilk adopt, but one that sees the two long tracks on Transience work a, (miserable), treat.
The band this reminds me of most is Earth, if Earth played Funeral Doom and had growled vocals.
The music is introspective and gloriously woeful. It tempts you to lie back and trance out, while the sombre, mournful melodies carry your consciousness off and your body slowly settles into its place in the cold, wet, uncaring soil…
Throughout this slow decline of sentience we get the aforementioned deep growls churning in line with the music. These are both quite traditional in delivery and also subtly different, having a roughness to them that seems sparse and minimalistic, also in line with the music.
A dreamy, seductively calming way to spend 40 minutes. Enjoy."
— MINDFUL OF METAL —
"Funeral doom of the impossibly slow persuasion. Presented as two elephantine minor key mantras, crystal clear in delivery, crushing in poignancy. Although minimalistic and direct, the compositions ooze downcast mastery. Scathing vocals slice through the leaden march with pleasing ease, further emphasizing the power of these deliberate, measured movements. Perhaps only for the funeral doom devotee. Perhaps a pinnacle of this ponderous art."