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jools green
Jools Green
15th February 2017


Great things can come from inspiration and Frowning prove that once again with a second full length, the mesmerizingly haunting 'Extinct'.

This one man project from Weinböhla, Saxony, Germany, masterminded by multi instrumentalist Val Atra Nitris, has grown from the inspiration he found in the music of Belgian Funeral Doomsters Pantheist, most likely their early work, and American Death/Funeral Doom quintet Evoken, driving him to found Frowning back in 2011, initially just recording for his own pleasure and uploading to YouTube.

Fast forward to April 2014 where the opportunity to release a limited edition CD a split with British Doom Metal band Aphonic Threnody, titled 'Aphonic Threnody Vs Frowning Of Graves, Of Worms And Epitaph' in April 2014 came about, paving the way to 'Funeral Impressions', his debut full-length that October via Wretched Records and Solitude Productions.

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Now Val is back with his second full-length, the majestic and gloomy 'Extinct', five tracks enveloping sixty-two superb minutes of haunting Funeral Doom with the deep harsh vocal delivery and hauntingly bleak quality of 'Evoken', and the majestic atmosphere of 'Pantheist'.

The previous album was a completely solo project but for this release Val has enlisted a few guest musicians; on the hauntingly bleak 'Nocturnal Void' with its quiet reflective core, he's joined by SG (the Ukranian vocalist, multi instrumentalist Станислав Говоруха) from Suffer Yourself and on the darkly eerie 'Encumbered By Vermin' he enlists the vocal skills of German vocalist/guitarist Hekjal (Tobias Levi) from Ad Cinerem and Hatul.

Regarding the other tracks, the hugely reflective 'Veiled In Fog' is a beautifully depressive piece that shrouds your mind in a dreamy mist with well placed riffs and growls that burst through and stir your mind from its reverie.


The longest track, 'Buried Deep', at almost twenty-one minutes has an excellent addition,in the shape of serenely haunting and reflective organ and chorals as it opens, which return across the track, adding an extra touch of evocative splendour, as does the distant spoken vocals in the quieter moments, some of which tail away so much it's almost silent, effectively drawing you deeper into the music as it returns and envelopes you.

Ending on a rather special cover, 'Frédéric Chopin's Marche Funèbre', originally written around 1837-9 by the Polish composer, probably his best known piece as it's often used to embellish morbid humour despite its original serious intent, Val's interpretation, which features the talents of Friedemann Wutzler on organ, who adds a deranged, off kilter element to his playing in places, is utterly epic, atmospheric and brought right up to date without detracting any of the original solemnity or dark atmosphere.

I love the stormy weather sound-bites that open and close the piece as they really bring the whole thing to life.... or death, depending on how you look at it.

'Extinct' is out on Black Lion Productions and if you are a fan of Funeral Doom you will love this.




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