Unmercenaries - _Fallen in Disbelief_
(Moscow Funeral League Records, 2014)
by: Chaim Drishner (8.5 out of 10)
In the very last days of cold December, in the year 2014, _Fallen in Disbelief_ was recorded; an album that is a monument of death and decay.

Unmercenaries play what can only be described as classic funeral doom; classic, as in true to the prototypical sound of the style, its bread and butter, that is to say extremely slow yet fundamentally melodic death metal, with all the charade that accompanies it (bottomless dark growls, sparse synthesizer lines, guitar and drums driven dynamics, maximum distortion, et cetera); so what is eventually the quintessential factor that differs one band from the other, if at all? Ha, if at all, exactly, if at all; as most bands copycat each other, sounding often like the exact same musical entity playing over and over the same worn out riffs. What differs one funeral doom band from the next (in the context of the doom/death framework and classic sound thereof, as above mentioned) is the atmosphere created by the band and their song writing skills, and that means not just writing decent riffs, but enabling the music to become enormous, devouring and sinister, characteristics every dark music output should own.

Unmercenaries, as opposed to many of their comical, try-hard counterparts, know how to deliver a menacing sound; a sound that governs every moment of _Fallen in Disbelief_, a monumental funereal, doom-laden, plodding death metal album. _Fallen in Disbelief_ sounds like your habitual funeral doom/death metal album, until you pay attention to the riffs, allowing the music and the ambiance it creates to suck you down into its charred bleeding heart.

This album balances the aggression and hatred it owns, and its undeniable melodic essence; and thus, without sounding cheesy even for one fucking moment (forget about crap like Swallow the Sun and all the other sugar-coated "doom" bands out there), this multinational band have created an album that is among the elite of the style. Regretfully not many will register this notion, other than extreme doom fanatics who have heard a thing or two; those who can weed out the banalities and crown only the best of the crop as worthy of both their precious time and money.

Unmercenaries' music is sinister; they write such an insidious and intense music that it can and will spontaneously infect the listener with its poisons and acute pessimism. The thoughtful guitar lines and those howling keyboards, aided by a monstrous drum sound and unreal vocals, make listening to this album both an enjoyable experience and a terrifying one. The light romanticism embedded in the tunes render the music slightly 'gothic' in its true, dark sense; like a sonic equivalent of a funeral procession caught on grainy black and white film, involving hooded figures as extras and mysterious rituals as the plot.

At times slightly cabaret-ish, and at other times simply pummelling with its sheer, unadulterated heaviness (both of sound and emotion), _Fallen in Disbelief_ is a mighty release, the brainchild of doom veterans hailing from My Shameful, Who Dies in Siberian Slush and A Young Man's Funeral; a recording that is a monument of dark, abrasive, ultra negative heavy metal; the sound of death, the sound of the very end.

_Fallen in Disbelief_ will remind you The Nulll Collective's _De Monstris_ exactly due to all that has been mentioned above; both albums share the same vision and aesthetics, both flirt with the ultimate darkness, both expand the definition of doom/death into the realms of the absurd, yet both still manage to maintain their allegedly generic facade.

Enjoy this metallic gem and spin it as many times as possible, for this is magick in the making.

Contact: http://mfl-records.bandcamp.com/album/fallen-in-disbelief

(article published 3/3/2015)

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