I like Aphonic Threnody a great deal, and really enjoyed last year’s The All Consuming Void, (also check out Of Loss and Grief and The Great Hatred). So, imagine my surprise when I saw that the band had a new album coming out so soon after the last one. Then, imagine my even further surprise when I found out that it was a monstrously huge double album! That’s right, The Loneliest Walk boasts a massive 243 minutes of material. So sit down, get comfortable, and prepare to get washed away by the band’s tidal waves of woe and despair.
Divided into two sides for at least the illusion of accessibility, each set of tracks is made up of four colossal songs, with one interlude in the middle of them; ten tracks in total across both sides.
This release finds Aphonic Threnody wrapped in pain and grief. The band’s emotive take on funeral doom is as effective as ever. The lengthy songs immerse the listener in waves of darkness, swamping them with atmosphere and grim, despondent moodscapes. Enriched with keyboards, cello, and acoustic guitars, this new material is textured, dripping with feeling, and effortlessly enjoyable if you’re a fan of this sort of long, downbeat doom.
It is so very easy to get lost in Aphonic Threnody’s world. These new songs are especially expressive examples of the band’s art, and to my ears they sound, darker, richer in emotive depths, and more atmospheric than ever. The band have crafted a collection of tracks that are affecting and satisfying, scratching that monolithic funeral doom itch like few others are capable of.
The band’s past vocalist, (Also in Dea Marica), has returned to the fold. He delivers a range of dark growls with a ragged edge, along with some other vocalisations, such as harsh blackened screams.
The Loneliest Walk is an imposing record. Its sheer size will be enough to put off most people. This is unfortunate, as it is a great example of Grade A funeral doom. Of course, adherents to the style will simply lap the extreme length up. After all, there are only actually ten tracks here in total…
The Loneliest Walk once again affirms why I hold Aphonic Threnody in such high regard. In fact, if anything, it raises my estimation of them even higher. This is a great album. Immerse yourself in the sadness and pain of The Loneliest Walk and fully embrace the doom.
Very highly recommended.