Cemetery Fog - Towards the Gates
Iron Bonehead Productions
Atmospheric Doomdeath
5 songs (28'30")
Release year: 2014
Reviewed by Alex

Finnish duo of J. Filppu and V. Kettunen known as Cemetery Fog strive for atmosphere fitting of the adjective in their moniker on their first non-demo release, Towards the Gates EP.

Commendably, the Finns don't do it all with tried and true ways and vary their approach song to song. After muffled piano from the room next door intro Withered Dreams of Death takes a step into the atmospheric death metal territory, even a touch progressive, riffs stumbling along, bass and percussion being snappy, with synthesizer floating in the background. Withered Dreams of Death changes tempos, but does not feature a prominent melody, not until the closing lead anyway. Just like Withered Dreams of Death, Embrace of the Darkness also highlights an interwoven vignette between guitars and synth. This combination presents an interesting conundrum for Cemetery Fog. While on Embrace the Darkness guitars are allowed to roam free a little more than earlier, without synth the music would still be too dry. Synth, while definitely not in your face obnoxious, is directly responsible for the atmosphere here, but there is not enough suffering or scary horror expressed with it. As a result, the whole thing feels somewhat cartoonish, even if a nice folk swirl after a 4' break provides a diversion in combination with a faint clean voice.

From this standpoint Shadow of Her Tomb looks the most complete. It starts with a successful funeral doom riff, convincing both in its misery and that necessary touch of tenderness needed to make funeral doom penetrating. A brief death'n'roll provides a rude awakening until Shadow of Her Tomb closes with another atmospheric death moment which has some reverential aspect to it, as if one is meandering in a cathedral. Female voice in the background is entirely unexpected, but proves the fact the tomb is indeed “hers”.

Not willing to adhere just to one style, Cemetery Fog are most adept at taking the listener on a trip to a burial ground, or some old abandoned park, even if this trip seems to be more cinema than reality.

Killing Songs :
Shadow of Her Tomb
Alex quoted 73 / 100
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