SEPTIC MIND, Истинный Зов (2011, Solitude Productions)

The skull:
Maybe because I’ve been craving Thai noodles lately, those flat and wide ones, I imagined this skull in a bed of said noodles. My stomach growled at the very thought, even if I am (mostly) vegetarian. I’d work around the skull just to get to those chewy strands of brown sauce-soaked glory. But alas, a closer look reveals this nest is made of much-less-edible wicker strands. The skull looks remarkably aged, and recently unearthed, judging from his dirty, scarred noggin. Whatever his age, it looks like the poor guy has been through hell. I say wrap him in some swaddling clothes and lie him in a manger. A manger of Pad See Ew. He deserves much more than a wicker nest.

The music:
After two albums, this Russian funeral doom band are already kaput. Their music is drawn-out slowness (surprise surprise!) with a decidedly hypnotic, dream-like feel, even more so than the usual funeral doom band. While I am no authority on this subgenre of a subgenre, Septic Mind are as intolerably boring as any other band in this genre, although their mystical characteristics — ambient sounds that trail through the entirety of each of the three compositions, and the drowsy, chiming, shoegaze-esque guitar tones — allow me to appreciate this album just a little bit. While I consider myself a fairly patient listener, it was difficult to not become anxious for the songs to reach their terminus long before they actually did. The songs do develop, and slowly, of course, but the payoff is never quite satisfying enough. Finally, as with so much of this stuff, the vocals slum it while the music aspires to something higher and more enlightened. Relatively interesting as funeral doom goes, while as instantly forgettable as it goes too. One (listen) and done.
— Friar Wagner