Until Death Overtakes Me – AnteMortem

Rating: 3/5
Label/Distributor: Dusktone Records
Label/Distributor URL: http://www.dusktone.eu/
Released: 2017
Buy Album:
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Until-Death-Overtakes-Me/107545572607902?fref=ts

Tracklistings:until death

1. Before
2. Days Without Hope
3. The Wait
4. Inevitability

Band Line-up:

Stijn Van Cauter – Everything


Funeral Doom is often a strange and sometimes unloved animal. It is staunchly noncommercial, and often offers precious little for the listener to grasp onto. However, Stijn Van Cauter has managed to cultivate a long and melancholic career out of it. Indeed his Until Death Overtakes Me project  have been on the scene since the year 2000. “AnteMortem” is his seventh full length album, and what a suicidal, bleak experience it is.

The eerie, cold “Before” is the first offering. It is glacial, and slower than continental drift. The crunch of the heavier-than-the-guilt-of-whole-human-race-combined guitars, and the bowels of the earth vocals are augmented by the ecclesiastic keyboards. The experience is like a sort of slow motion hypnosis, akin to living between geological periods. About twelve minutes in there is a lengthy keyboard passage which feels like guest slot by a terminally depressed, opiate addicted Jean-Michel Jarre. After close to 25 minutes I felt like I had aged a decade.

The aptly titled “Days Without Hope” follows, and follows much the same blueprint. “The Wait” begins with a theatrical, orchestral flourish not unlike Sopor Aeternus. Once the guitars kick in the pace is almost brisk by comparison to previous tracks. It is 22 minutes of harrowing drama.

Album closing instrumental “Inevitability” clocks in at a sprightly 9:56, and is the musical equivalent to a cascade of tears brought on by crippling depression.

“AnteMortem” is certainly not an album for those with a short attention span. It brings on a sort of forlorn stupor which is hard to shake after it has finished. There is certainly an ever present otherwordly vibe about it. One major flaw is that the vocals are far too low in the mix. The pace is unremittingly slow, enough that it makes other Doom bands seem like Grindcore. It is never boring, but it is a challenging experience.

Review By Owen Thompson