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Review: Descend Into Despair - Opium
Descend Into Despair

Label: Funere
Year released: 2020
Duration: 59:29
Tracks: 3
Genre: Funeral Doom

Rating: 4.25/5

Review online: September 1, 2020
Reviewed by: Luxi Lahtinen
Readers Rating

Rated 4.2/5 (84%) (5 Votes)

Descend Into Despair have been one of Romania's masters of Funeral Doom since 2010, partly for being one of the only bands in the genre from there, mostly for being high quality since the beginning. Their third album, Opium, is no exception to that rule and, honestly, it's a damn impressive example of the genre.

Because this is Funeral Doom, atmosphere is all important, and Descend Into Despair have that down to a science. All three tracks on Opium are built on a spacious, hypnotic atmosphere that adds an almost ardent religious vibe to their overall messages, as on the end of "Enshr[r]ine". Xander Coza's death grunts are also a highlight, as his deep delivery sounds like it comes from the bowels of some distant darkness, and it really adds a brutality and savagery to their malevolent sound. Album closer "Dis[re]member" particularly stands out, serving as a culmination of everything the album is about, but the other songs are still dark and oppressive slabs of Funeral Doom that are well worth listening to.

It's sort of a shame Funeral Doom isn't more mainstream because if it were, I could easily see Descend Into Despair being in the limelight. Of course, the very excesses of the genre are why it never will be, and it's not like the band is lacking in those in the slightest. With each song being between 17-24 minutes of desolation and doom, this is far from easy listening, but as a journey into the dark corners of the universe as you, yourself, are alone with dark thoughts, it's hard to match.

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