By Dr. Abner Mality

This is one of the most archetypal funeral doom albums you are ever gonna hear. Every box pertaining to the genre is ticked by “Hypnagogia”….slow oozy riffs, weepy keys and melodies, long songs, subhuman growls, plodding drums. There is no aspect of funeral doom that is not covered here.

Evoken is an American band who have been plying these Lethean waters for a long time now. They obviously take inspiration from My Dying Bride, Skepticism and Morgion but manage to not sound like a bald-faced knockoff. Their brand of doom kind of tries your patience, but there’s no doubt they invest a ton of sorrowful emotion into these 8 tracks. The very first cut “The Fear After” is the most iconic…incredibly heavy and grinding, yet somehow the trudging riffs have a hopeful air as well. That’s the best “Hypnagogia” has to offer, but other tracks such as “Schadenfreude” and “Ceremony of Bleeding” will also have you reaching for the Kleenex. The band are certainly not afraid to use non-metal instruments to achieve their goals, as flute, violin and various keyboard sounds pop up frequently.

Funeral doom is very much an acquired taste and I haven’t totally acquired it, I have to say, but I know a superior band when I hear one and you’re not going to get much better than this.