Written by Zax
- Hellish Form – Remains
- Funeral Doom Metal from the United States
- Released on June 25th, 2021 via Translation Loss Records
Every weekend I try and listen to over 10 new albums, and last weekend was full of records that I was highly anticipating from acts that I was very familiar with. The fact that, on a week like that, a new face could grab my attention above all the rest, is pretty damn impressive. That new face I speak of, is the U.S. based funeral doom duo Hellish Form.
There are two main factors that can make or break a funeral doom record in my opinion, the first being production. If your riffs lack texture and body, then what the fuck is the point? The other is laying down some sort of atmosphere. That might seem like a given, but you’d be surprised at the amount of funeral doom records I’ve heard that end up being giant heaps of dull, lifeless schlock. Luckily for Hellish Form, they seem to have mastered both of these.
The production here is exactly what I look for in a funeral doom album. It’s huge and cavernous; allowing each and every crushing, brooding layer of riffage to engulf the listener in sorrow. Not too raw, not too polished. It was mixed by the band’s own Jacob Lee, and it was mastered by James Plotkin. Digging deeper, I noticed that James has quite the massive portfolio of mastering credits. He’s worked with big names like Isis, Electric Wizard, Earth, and more, I also noticed some amazing smaller projects he’s worked on, like Bismuth’s The Slow Dying of The Great Barrier Reef and LaColpa’s Post Tenebras Lux. Point being, this project had a lot of weight behind it!
The atmosphere is haunting at times, but it relies mostly on melancholy and sorrow, which is backed nicely by the chilling synths. The synths really set this record apart from others in the genre, especially on the second track “Ache” which is almost entirely synth driven in it’s second half. That track absolutely nails the feeling of a cemetery on a cold winter morning.
The riffs are absolutely mountainous, just loud, droning crashes of despair raining down on you. The performance is so layered I find myself fixating on something new with every listen. The percussion is very well-mixed, they’re packing an avalanche inducing kick drum and some incredibly hard hitting snare. All this is topped with an absolutely batshit vocal performance featuring raw, throat shredding high screams.
This is my favorite funeral doom record of the year so far and I hardly see anything topping it! Give Hellish Form their due, and maybe pick up some of gorgeous merch from Translation Loss Records while you’re at it.
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