This is the third album from Sinister Downfall, a one-man funeral doom band from Germany.
Following on from 2020’s A Dark Shining Light, The Last Witness delivers a 60-minute slab of gloomy darkness. Sinister Downfall know how to craft a funeral doom album of grief and hopelessness.
The songs are heavy and atmospheric. Swathed in thick distortion and enriched with keyboards and bleak melodies, the lengthy songs expand and develop with the slow inevitability of the grave. The deep unintelligible growls seem to swallow all light, while the layered music relentlessly moves forward with grim intent.
Sinister Downfall are adept at creating and sustaining despondent moods with ease, and these are effectively rendered and realised. A few different tools are used to ensure that these forlorn atmospheres continue to hold the listener in their dark embrace, rather than lose them over time. This includes the use of a variety of musical enhancements and creative ideas that all provide additional texture to the songs. Some examples include quieter introspective moments, well-considered flow, good use of winding melodies, the ability to build atmosphere and mood gradually, the use of a few different paces, and smart songwriting overall.
The Last Witness is a very satisfying funeral doom record. Sinister Downfall take the listener on a funereal journey into misery and loss, and it’s easy to get lost in this album’s exploration of melancholic heaviness.
A highly recommended listen for fans of weighty, emotive doom.