FROWNING - Extinct
Black Lion Productions
This guy makes MOURNFUL CONGREGATION, EA and ESOTERIC sound like party bands. I mean this is just flat out miserable. The guy in question is Val Atra Niteris, who probably has a dark cloud hovering over where ever he goes. Val hails from Germany and if you're into German black metal, and frankly who isn't, then you might know him from his other projects like HEIMLEIDEN which released an evil little icicle last year titled Mysterium Melancholie on Winterwolf Records. Then there's AD CINEREM which has a few length of blackened doom out this year called Shadows of Doubt.
While Val does spread the pain with all his other projects its this one where he's spent most of his time on over the years and not many years to speak of either. He started doing FROWNING (yeah what a perfect name) by himself in 2011 at the age of seventeen. He put out four singles that year. In 2014 he released Funeral Impressions his first one hour opus to funeral bliss. This latest one follows suit with another full hour's worth purgatory imprisonment in five cuts. The sound is heavy as well as slow allowing the atmosphere to linger on well beyond decency. On "Veiled in Fog" Val slowly picks the guitar strings to create an almost church bell chime probably to call out the dead. On the over twenty minute "Buried Deep" there's a funeral parlor-like keyboard interlude which bleeds into the excruciatingly slow dense guitars. Val changes from cavernous vocals to background chants. There's more but I'll leave it there.
What Val has created here on Extinct is far from reinventing the funeral doom genre. It's more like giving it a good creative shot in the arm. He takes it to levels not yet explored but deeply at home with the style. His previous works were just hints at greatness. Extinct is a masterpiece in funeral doom.