Luna - _Ashes to Ashes_
(Solitude Productions, 2014)
by: Chaim Drishner (9 out of 10)
Another virtually instrumental funeral doom album by a Ukrainian one-man band, behind which stands a man of mystery who offers us no information other than his pseudonym, Demort. _Ashes to Ashes_, Luna's debut recording, is what Ea's music should have been: ballsy, dark, larger-than-life, tragic, devouring. This 57, single-track excursion through aural morbidity offers captivating, melodic yet very unsettling, riveting compositions that will grab you immediately by the throat and guide you through the most depraved sonic landscapes known to man.

The more the album progresses, the more immersed the listener becomes in its tragic lullabies; hair raising moments alongside epic tunes, thundering rhythms and miasmic keyboard lines, piercing with their poisonous sonic darts the very soul. Horror-laden soundtrack, a cinematic aural monstrosity that overshadows the visual presentation that might have been, if indeed it were an original movie score; it's everything funeral doom should represent, and more. A symphonic malevolence, an orchestral malignant tumor that buds within the psyche and sends tentacles of evil intent until it devours the physical and the metaphysical alike.

Demort has created an intriguing one-track piece of melodic funeral doom that shakes and stirs existence itself. Its tragedy-laden keyboards are the embodiment of pessimism; the song progression is simple yet clever and extremely potent, captivating the listener from the get-go, doesn't let go, unrelenting and unmerciful with its emotional impact, its sinister aura and its predominant sentiments of otherworldly doom.

Imagine almost an hour of virtually pure instrumental music, devoid of any substantial human vocals (other than an occasional synthesizer-generated choir line or a processed short citation) that has not a weak spot, no filler material, not a single boring sonic maneuver, that lashes you time and again with its razor sharp emotive, creative, searing music and all you can do -- between one episode of goose bumps to the next -- is want more of that sweet-and-sour mental and physical punishment.

_Ashes to Ashes_, not unlike The Howling Void's seminal work _Nightfall_, is how melodic / symphonic / orchestral, keyboard-driven funeral doom should be really done; the vileness of the music lies not in its heaviness, the deepness of the human growls that ornament it, nor its plodding velocity, but rather in the overwhelming unease the composition(s) generate within the listener; the darkness the music conjures, its insidious uncleanliness and the supreme veil of mystery is summons.

These aforementioned attributes are all here, done so linearly, in a seemingly casual manner, yet they are so profoundly effective their sum is a masterwork that will raise some hairs at the back of your neck and enable you to transcend into a place of dim lights and desolation so great that it will snuff out any hope for better tomorrows.

Think of Glenn Danzig's _Black Aria_ going funeral doom -- and you'll have a vague idea about how this monster of an album sounds; but only a vague idea.


(article published 10/9/2014)

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