No Funeral / Livid - Split EP,
Minneapolis, Minnesota-based DIY sludge/doom/crust label, Live Fast Die Recordings, has just released a demoralizing split release between two of The Twin Cities’ finest doom/sludge exports: No Funeral and Livid, both digitally and on limited edition vinyl. Formed in 2011, No Funeral — featuring former members of Sourvein and Ashen — plays bleak sludge in the vein of Grief, Dystopia, and Buzzov*en, with influences ranging from crust and sludge to death metal. The band’s suffocating output stems from a range of deep personal struggles to complete misanthropy. Livid was formed is 2014 and recently joined forces with Prosthetic Records for the release of their ‘Beneath This Shroud, The Earth Erodes’ debut full-length. The band’s punishing sound is soaked in palpable desolation and despair, spanning delicately-orchestrated drones to pummelling doom. Together the two manifest a three-song EP that’s at once stark and demoralizing.
Side one of this release belongs to No Funeral, with one song of eight minutes’ length and one of nearly eleven. The bass and guitars are distorted, sounding like great slabs of lead, while the drums are crisp and clean, and the vocals nihilistic and coarse. It is bleak and full of sadness and despair: this is not something to be played when the listener may be feeling slightly despondent, as this drives the emotions down into a deep and dark pit where there is no light and no hope whatsoever. If anyone felt that they could feel any better by turning the album over and listening to the eighteen-minute-long “False Hope” from Livid then think again, as they are mixing doom with ambient black metal and vocals strangely reminiscent at times of Pete Steele. This contains more emotion than No Funeral, it must be said, but the despondency, sadness and sheer weight of blackness isn’t exactly cheery. Overall this is some of the most depressing 38 minutes of music I have ever come across, which is quite some achievement. Not for the fainthearted.