REVIEW: Unseeing – Funeral for A Friend (2021)

Funeral for A Friend is the 2021 EP release by Belarusian Dark Ambient and Doom Jazz project Unseeing. Funeral for A Friend is an incredibly dreary and visceral album, “[a] story to tell in the dark” as described on the album’s Bandcamp page.

Not for the squeamish, Funeral for A Friend’s opening track My Suicide is an incredibly gory audio play of final moments and self-inflicted death by knife. Accompanied by light and clean Post-Rock guitars, My Suicide is foley straight out of a horror film. The track’s minor dialogue may push My Suicide’s imagery a step too close to cheesy, but ultimately remains the visceral opener this album needs.

The band’s use of sound design is reminiscent of Krypto Grotesk’s Post Urban Exotica, exploring the man-made’s relationship to the human. A notable example is third track Death Coming, which incorporates distant sirens (an ominous warning peaking our biological nature) and hospital monitoring sounds as transitioning fills in the track.

Enacting a Post-Rock approach to Doom Jazz’s solemn sound, Unseeing substitutes Doom Jazz’s more sleazy qualities for pure romantic-nihilism. The jazz aesthetics integral to Doom Jazz are subdued. Lightly brushed drums and MIDI ‘standup’ bass are only a light skeletal structure which Unseeing builds off of with lush synth strings and Post-Rock guitar tones. It’s a sonic distinction from the Doom Jazz milieu which sets the band apart and allows Unseeing to achieve their compositions’ greatest potential on the album.

For fans of: Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Mount Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble, Nortt

Like Unseeing? Give these a listen: Krypto Grotesk, Slow Blink, Mogwai

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