Lethargy of Death is a one man Funeral Doom band from the musical vision of Emiaj, a musician from Chile and while hearing anything from that country is a unique experience in itself, you never really know what to expect. This man started making these depressive tunes way back in 2000 and has a couple of EP's available with "Tribulations" released in 2005 and "Robe Of Death" released the following year. This début full length effort has been released on the Endless Winter label. The first thing to delight me was the cover artwork, I have always been a sucker for skulls and bones and the name of the band plus the album title is as stimulating for my morbid, depressive tastes in music. The overly obvious influences of Skepticism and Shape Of Despair are all over this recording but there is also one other factor to consider and that is the dominating use of keyboards so if those two elements don't impress you, you better stay clear of this album.
This album drowns itself in orchestrated keyboard sounds that are the driving force behind every song, other instruments are also used but they are very distant most of the time but strangely still very heavy. The distant but ambient use of the guitar on this album though creates a very mournful atmosphere as the instrument seems to be weeping along with effects like the child voices in the background. Something about this makes everything seem very depressive and mesmerizing. Synths are used in a very dramatic, almost cinematic way as the orchestrated feel of the songs carry a very hypnotic quality. The vocals are a succession of other-worldly grunts that are very predictable but they also fit the feeling of despair this album has. Like most one man projects, the weak element is the drums and here its again the weak-point of the recording as they sound very thin and lets just say fake to the point of irritating. However with the keyboards and guitars being so powerful in their presence, it's not something you spend too much time listening to anyway. Same goes for the bass and I am not even sure if there is bass on this album, either way it matters not at all.
Opening track, "Damnation" is a grandiose Funeral Doom track without sounding pompous as it's actually very hypnotic and menacing at the same time, the following "Death" also has a kind of ambiance that you can lost in. The next track though is a major highlight, this one titled "Remains Of A Remembrance" is a perfect blend of Funeral Doom sadness and Space Rock other worldly ness. The mixture of effects and larger than life keyboard driven atmosphere is beautifully delivered. "The Treason" follows nicely but is a little overblown at over 13 minutes in length but the album gets back on track with the shortest tune here called "Essential Process", this track is a very creepy, sinister piece of work that beautifully sets the mood for "Adrift". The feeling of isolation and that all hope is lost comes through in this track and then the album finishes the way it started, huge and grand with the symphonic "Finale". Apart from the weak drum sound, this album is beautifully produced and played. There is nothing original to offer fans of the Funeral Doom style but its a worthy addition to any Funeral-Doom lovers collection. You could do a lot worse than this so you have nothing to lose by checking out this mans work, Emiaj is one of the best doom musicians around at the moment and this is an engaging release. Recommended.