Quercus – Heart with Bread (Review)

QuercusQuercus are from the Czech Republic and play funeral doom. This is their third album.

Funeral doom! When you want slow, miserable and despondent; accept no substitute.

Growled vocals that sound like something is straining against the seams of reality cry out, pained and desperate, from beneath the heavy, distorted guitars. Winding leads flow around the music’s murky foundations, working alongside a sturdy rhythm section that’s in no hurry to get anywhere. After all, what’s the point?

A church organ makes up an important portion of the band’s sound, adding a further emotive layer to music that’s designed with promulgating suffering as its main goal. The use of this organ adds a different aspect to the funeral doom and lends it a certain authenticity and aura of the funeral march. Keyboards are also used, although these are much more low-key than the main organ.

Quercus create melody and atmosphere through heaviness and sorrow, dragging the listener into their bleak world filled with organ-enhanced dirges. These songs stick in the psyche long after they’ve finished, urging you to forget whatever it is you’re doing and revisit them; lose yourself in the timeless misery and bleak sense of hopelessness that they have.

Heart with Bread does exactly what you want a funeral doom album to do. It takes the listener on a journey though dark emotions and sincerely-expressed pain, revelling in the negativity and, ultimately, creating something of worth from the ordeals it has undergone.

This is a 61 minute testament to the fact that grief-drenched heartache can become something more than the sum of its parts, gifting the listener with moving experiences and a special insight. Is there an uplifting aspect to their sound? Yes, darkness and light often co-exist in one form or another, and so it is with Heart with Bread.

If you only get one funeral doom album in the near future, I recommend that it’s this one.

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