Marche Funèbre - Einderlicht

Marche Funèbre always seem to be evolving with every album they crank out. Still rooted firmly in the death/doom territory on their fourth full length album, this Belgium based group step away from the dark, harsh atmosphere heard on their previous album “Into The Arms Of Darkness” and go more for the gothic doom route on “Einderlicht” hinted with bits of death doom, but the overall feeling is more melancholic than dark and crushing. Cleaner production especially with the guitars really help the album and pushes these guys more away from the Novembers Doom and My Dying Bride clones out there, while still taking cues from such groups here and there. The tracks are epic but not too many so listeners do not feel like these is too much music here, and the group opts for a lot of varied paces on instrumentation so it doesn’t seem too repetitive.

One thing fans of Marche Funèbre will notice is that the harsh vocals are used very sparingly here as opposed to previous albums, and the mournful clean ones are much more prevalent. Seeming a little shaky on the previous effort, they seem a bit stronger here, but still very melodramatic like he is delivering lines from a play, which enhances the gothic atmosphere such as on a track like ‘Scarred’ and ‘The Malestrom Mute’. Along with the slower, yet very melodic riffs, the heavier doom atmosphere is shed a bit but one can really feel the melancholy of the music and the clean vocals only help with that. Those looking for the faster, heavier pieces with the snarled vocals will enjoy tracks like ‘The Eye Of The End’ but despite the heavier tones, the harsh vocals feel a little bit strained compared to ‘Deformed’, which seems a little more balanced in the vocal department, although it sheds some of the heaviness for melody. While the vocals can be hit or miss, the guitars, bass, and drums are spot on, never losing their touch and certainly will appeal to any who like their doom clean and melodic with some pretty excellent riffs, such as on the closing ‘Einderlicht’. In the past Marche Funèbre kind of muddled everything together to create a dark hazy atmosphere leaving the vocals the only strong constant that wasn’t buried, but here it feels much more balanced overall despite the cracking of the growled moments such as on ‘The Eye Of The End’.

While not as crushing as earlier albums, “Einderlicht” does go a step in the right direction for Marche Funèbre as far as doom metal is concerned. Whether or not they may eventually shed the death doom elements and just go for the gothic doom, this overall mournful tone of the album is delightfully depressing enough without harsh grim shadow that the previous album had. Listeners might be a bit sad that the harsher elements were pushed away a bit, but the vocals have improved very much in the clean department and carry a unique sort of sorrow that is hard to match in a lot of doom bands who tend to opt for just dramatic spoken word passages and crushing growls, so one can actually appreciate the lyrics that Marche Funèbre deliver. A strong effort worthy for those who like depressing metal they can rock out to versus feel weighed down by it.

4 / 5 STARS 


1. Scarred
2. The Eye Of The End
3. When All Is Said
4. The Maelstrom Mute
5. Deformed
6. Einderlicht