Wednesday 16 October 2019

Great Cold Emptiness - St. Elm's Fire

Labels: Flowing Downward
Formats: Digital
Release Date: 07 Jul 2019


1. St. Elm's Fire
2. The Weeping Stream

My brain needs a switch off. People seem to like making dramas out of needless things. Not sure why I thought funeral doom would help, but I'm willing to take a chance. This particular brand of funeral doom comes from US band Great Cold Emptiness, which used to be a solo-project but has now swollen to a quintet. The band began in 2015 and after releasing a demo, two EPs and two full-lengths (including 2019's "Death Gifted A Bouquet"), they're back with their newest two-song EP "St Elm's Fire", which feature outtakes from the recording session for the aforementioned album and has been released digitally by both the band and with the help of Flowing Downward. 

While the band’s ranks have swollen to a five-piece in recent times, this EP contains only two of those members and “St. Elm’s Fire” is a melodic and sometimes lo-fi take on avant-garde black metal/funeral doom. Cleanly sung vocals sit at the top of the mix on the title-track, backed up by black metal drumming and instrumentation that’s more shoegaze in nature. The harsh vocals mid-way through add some sinister atmospherics to the music, which is where the funeral doom elements start to come through.

Second song The Weeping Stream is slower in tempo and much more doom-like. That reminds about the new Dry Cough Records releases that I need to get on (sorry for mentioning a completely unrelated label in this review). That being said, if people reading this are familiar with that label then after listening to this song you’ll understand where I’m coming from. Great Cold Emptiness channel abject misery here but with a huge chunk of solace as well. The organ-like keys and growling black metal vocals during the song’s latter half make it a more haunting experience albeit only briefly. Once the keys are added to the full cacophony of sounds, there’s a pleasant warmth that washes over you. 

This is definitely an EP of two halves but one that works really well. In some parts abrasive and in others just beautiful, Great Cold Emptiness manage to weave light out of the individual strands of extreme music that make up their sound. This is another band worth exploring in its entirety.

You can stream and buy it digitally for a mere $2 from the band below:-

Great Cold Emptiness -

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