"Mze Ukunisa"

By Earthdog

It has been a while since there has been a new funeral doom album worth getting excited about but finally Ennui's "Mze Ukunisa" arrived in our PO Box and it blew us away. This is extreme funeral doom at work right here; 6 songs all 10 to 15 minutes in length and all crawling, monolithic slabs of suffering misery filled riffage and emotion. As a funeral doom band, there is also a lot to be thankful for. Nothing is overly predictable, even though it sticks within the boundaries of funeral doom. The opening track of this album is a good example of their unpredictability with its immediate catchy qualities. These songs are indeed long but this two-man band avoid the obvious pit-falls of the funeral doom genre and keep it very interesting for all this 76 minute release.

Along with stunningly heavy guitar work that can be very raw at times, the band also has a tasteful grasp on how to use a synthesizer and that adds a lot of atmosphere to the pieces. The tempos are mostly painfully slow but they do explode into uptempo death metal beats at times that comes as a bit of a shock on first listen. Despite the length of these tracks, it is hard to get bored when you have so much overwhelming heaviness and raw emotion on display here. A track-by-track breakdown of the album is pointless in this case, this is an album that has to be enjoyed as one monster epic piece of funeral doom drama. However there are some highlights; 'Dead Desires' is 14 minutes of great riffs, hooks, melodies, mood swings and tempo changes and is gripping stuff right up to the end. The following track 'Maybe the Time Shall Come' is similar yet 5 minute shorter jab of sorrow and misery but with the spectacular amount of crushing guitar needed to get the job done.

The rest of the album is equally impressive. The only other thing worth mentioning is the vocals and the production of this killer release. The vocals ,or should I say monstrous otherworldly growls, are excellent and are perfectly in context with the songs, sound and the production job. Some bands over-do the growls and grunts but this is a nicely balanced job that is done on this album and with the tracks being so long, the album is a lot better off for it. For funeral doom fans out there reading this, this is essential listening. I am hard pressed to find any flaws with the album at all. As a piece of funeral doom, this beast is a winner.....10/10.