No lie — I love me some doom/death. Being a fan of My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost from “back in the day”, I’ve always loved the atmosphere of dread created by well-done music of this type. Enter FamishGod from Spain with their debut album Devourers Of Light.
I probably shouldn’t use the word “their”, because all the compositions and instrumentation is provided by one man, Pako Deimler (a.k.a. Funedëim from black metal acts Svipdagr and Morkulv). The vocals are provided by Dave Rotten, the owner of Xtreem Music and member of too many bands to go into.
All the tracks are pre-labeled “Chapter 1–7”, and there is no silence or fade-out between the tracks. I can imagine if FamishGod was a funeral doom band, this album could have ended up a single fifty-eight minute track. Personally, I think the breaks make it easier to digest, especially if you can’t sit down and listen to the entire album at once.
To actually get into the music, Chapter 1: Devourer of Light opens with a minute of building wind and a few eerie piano chords before punching you in the chest with a crushing guitar riff. The plodding rhythm takes the forefront as the lead guitar cries in the background and Rotten’s deep, phlegmy growl kicks in moments later. The lead guitar exchanges places with the bass, and that back-and-forth continues through the song.
Chapter 2: Famish follows a similar formula, only with more of a martial drum beat, almost how you’d imagine a giant walking the earth. The pace builds throughout this song, but even when it treads into near-Scandinavian death metal territory, Rotten’s sustained roars rein the song back into expected parameters.
Deimler’s black metal roots show through most on Chapter 4: Premature Grave, which has (dare I say it) blast bleats throughout the track. Granted, the tempo may be slower than on a lot of black/death albums, but the intent appears to be there. There are also many examples of blackened riffing and atmospheric noodling at various points in the album, cementing a slightly blackened feel. The instrumentation is spot-on, and one would be hard-pressed to find any fault with the playing.
The songs stay within a seven- to nine-minute range and prevent any weariness occasionally caused by songs in the double-digit bracket. This uniformity can be a bit of a turn-off for some, as all the songs do have the same basic skeleton, but it’s the details that separate them from one another. Active listening will definitely reward the listener moreso than just having it on in the background.
Devourers Of Light is a strong debut, and I’m looking forward to more from FamishGod in the future. It may not do anything spectacularly new or revolutionary, but it does everything well. If you need to darken the atmosphere in your home, I can think of a lot worse ways to do so.
Special thanks to Transcending Obscurity PR for the complementary review copy.