It is a rare and most priviledged occasion when one happens upon a ritual as foreboding as the recent release from Funerary Call, Dark Waters Stirred. Minimal yet textured, the six tracks that make up Dark Waters Stirred contain some of the most smothering atmosphere to be found in extreme music. Woe to all who dare gaze upon the Dark Waters . . . for what is seen depends largely on who is looking as well as what they most fear.
With Curse opens the wound, the portal, the eye. Patient as a winter’s night, With Curse has a tonality that sounds like a distorted dream and a feel like a sluggish nightmare. The lights blink from far away as you are flown through the dark sky, landing at once in the middle of a black sea where an ancient ceremony awaits. The droning drums to Words of Power call you closer to the fire, burning your straining eyes. The shadows continue to grow long as the faces of those around you contort into horrendous laughter of decadent delight. This is what sensory deprivation would sound like if it made so much as a whisper.
One of the most appealing things about Dark Waters Stirred is how personal it can become. The only words present (accompanied by one of the most haunting violins I have ever heard) are spoken, the verses taken from the Book of Revelation. This allows each listener to create his or her own proverbial Frankenstein’s Monster from the album’s anatomy of crude sound. No bullshit political lyrics, no profane chants to Satan — you are allowed to draw your own conclusions and therefore, are also forced to find your own way out of the ever-maddening maze.
The production of this album is also top notch. Any fool can make noise and call it art, just as any artist can hear noise and call it foolish; however, it takes an artist with genuine talent, such as Funerary Call, to create something as moving and personally penetrating as Dark Waters Stirred. I have no idea what the goal was or what influence helped create this dark opus, but I doubt it was something thrown together in a weekend over a couple of beers.
Like I said earlier, this is a personal record. There is no stereotypical ‘black metal atmosphere with a Darkthrone feel’ whatsoever, and the album art contain no images of corpse-painted ghouls in snow-covered forests caught on camera . There are no trappings, here, typical of extreme music, for noobs to identify with so many first-timers will not understand this album, or even have the courage to give this a real listen . . . at least not alone. Do yourself a favor and hear some honest and ‘TRVE’ black music.