Various Funeral Songs

Ah, autumn. The smell of dead leaves in the air, Halloween on its spooky way, and this 14-song gathering of dark ambient/gothic oddities that'll keep you moping and mourning for days. As its title so bluntly explains, this project was the demon spawn of 13 bands and is a collection inspired by tombstones, caskets and the other side. The tracks range from experimental dark ambient to the most self-indulgent of goth. If there's anything that's lacking in this music it certainly isn't the flare for the melodramatic. There are, of course, some old favourites in the dark ambient/experimental domain. Shinjuku Thief (from darkwave label Projekt) makes an appearance, as well as my faves on this compilation, Raison d'etre. A lot of what you'll hear are soundscapes: those vast aural constructions that extend beyond the realm of conventional music. At times, you feel like you're listening to a soundtrack, or background music, but the music seems to tell its own stories as well. One moment confusion, noise and frantic scattered movements, then melodic, classically-inspired bits the next. Chimes, pan flute, didgeridoos, bagpipes, howls, choirs and plenty of other darkwave standards fill this disc to the brim. And, as I always say, a compilation is a great way to nurture a sparked interest in a breed of music that may be new to you, so if you're looking to cast new shadows on your current record collection, check out Funeral Songs. (Relapse)