Album Review: Wraithstorm – “Unseen & Unfound” (Funeral Death Doom)

Written by Melinda

Wraithstorm – Unseen & Unfound
Funeral death doom from USA
Released April 1, 2022

Get comfortable, we’re talking funeral doom here. Besides being a genre that gets too few releases each month in comparison to most other genres, this project is also the creation of trans and nonbinary musicians, so you can bet I put this on the moment I saw it. With it releasing on April Fools Day I was cautious – as I am with any interaction on this day – but Wraithstorm are no joke. 

As we often find in the modern internet age of metal, debut albums can absolutely hammer the nail. This isn’t a project that just sprung up on a whimsy with the intention of learning, there’s a level of capability here that only stems from experienced musicians who share a very particular vision. With music by Alicia Cordisco (Ex-Judicator, Project: Roenwolfe), and vocals from Lux Edwards (ex-Sevenkingdoms, Soulmass) we find a very comfortable duo who has worked together in various ways for a long time musically and also shared in their difficult transitioning journey of which this album heavily reflects. They also smartly offloaded the drums to longtime collaborator Michael Goodrich and made sure to go the whole nine yards with artwork and production. The only difference between this and very good  popular funeral doom metal bands is simply that not enough people have heard Wraithstorm yet.

I said get comfortable at the start, did you do that? This is my favorite kind of format, one long ass thirty seven minute beast of a track. When I checked the lyrics for this it was immense. Everything about this project is huge in presentation, music for fucking giants. The single track “Unseen & Unfound” has two large pieces “UNSEEN” and “UNFOUND” that passes by seamlessly. I went to check on the track progress to see how far in I was, and I was 33 minutes in and the track was about to end. Where did that time go? Was I abducted by music? Well, time to hit replay while I delve into the grim treasure trove that may be unseen and unfound but certainly not unheard today. 

Before I go on a tangent I should probably describe the music: Bell Witch inspired longform death doom with good pacing and the occasional cleaner vocals and cleaner bass tones. The bass and vocals are doing the heavy lifting so if you’re into bass you might get a real kick out of this one. It’s so menacingly thick with acidic sludge levels of distortion hanging in the air. Lux’s vocals fill the void perfectly and adapts to the style of doom needed as per each segment of instrumentation, they carry a vibe of being in control and calm despite the chaos around them. Let’s get into themes and speculation about themes, with some tiny excerpts from the song. 


“Zero dimensions of time
You are trapped inside
Nothing beyond this form
No escape from the nightmare” 

Something I really enjoy about how the lyrics are written on this project is that if you stripped away the context provided and just gave your average cis metalhead the MP3 and lyrics, they would likely find some they find in a lot of other doom metal – badass metaphors for despair. If you have the context and if you’re trans, the meaning becomes very specific and potent. Alicia pulls from every thematic influence in her head resulting in metaphors ranging from cosmic to religious and even philosophical ideas and thought experiments like ship of Theseus. I just discovered the ship of Theseus through this album and it is essentially the questioning of whether or not and object with all of it’s parts replaced is fundamentally the same – an idea that has a hell of a punch when considered through a transgender lens. 

And here’s the inevitable part in my reviews where I assign my own overall meaning to an album regardless if that’s the intent and maybe I’m close? Usually not. Either way, I appreciate an album that gets me thinking and analyzing from a personal perspective. To me the UNSEEN part reflects a struggle coming to terms with the clashes between our assigned gender and our desires, a kind of self immolation for the sake of finding and understanding the remains. What can I make of these remains? Are they still “me” or did I successfully uproot and destroy “me”? Am I forced to just forever live out life as “me”?  Fuck, I am and I’ll become astray in that thought for all too long. Whether it’s yourself who cannot see yourself, or whether it’s others who cannot see you. As a trans woman, I very much have a complicated relationship with being “seen” or “unseen”.


“Attempting to create
In vain I must fulfill
Everywhere I gaze
Reflections of the poet’s pain

Within thy consciousness
Into infinity
Until the final breath
A reason comes this way
To drown the poet’s rhyme
To take it all away
Purpose is forfeit”

And then UNFOUND, to me, feels like the next part of that journey, after the self exploration and maybe even self acceptance (for some), but it has not become easier because now we must enter an entire world as our new selves and be forced to see the very “me” we tried to destroy, reflected loudly on the faces of a society unwilling to accept change. We reach out hopefully, longing for the end game, the goal achieved but… it’s hard and takes forever and some of those goals are just not possible, or at least I cannot perceive their possibility. So despite how much I desired to be seen, and desired to find what I felt had always been missing – I have become disheartened too many times and eventually find comfort and solace in being… unseen and unfound. 

But you know, I’m also “unfound” when I smoke weed for days on end without talking to people because that’s easier than being a person. And thus, I also have a complicated relationship with being “unfound”.

The Bottom Line:

Highly competent funeral doom debut LP that glides through it’s near forty minute runtime with grace. On a musical level it’s very much in line with what you expect when you put on a funeral doom album but their use of the format to express transness in a scene of stale metaphoric ambiguity elevates the project greatly. Projects exploring transitioning or trans rights need to proliferate across every genre and this is a first for me in terms of this style. It flows effortlessly with an effective story telling mixture of contemplative melody and fierce uproar. Unseen & Unfound is a well rounded release from a new project that has quickly become close to my queer heart.