Label: TotalRust Music
Genre: Blackened Doom Metal
Highgate is a new act on the funeral doom front, ironically living right up the street from me. Its almost embarrassing to admit that this debut was released by Israeli label Totalrust Music, while I had never even heard of the trio while they resided a few miles away and play one of my favorite genres. Regardless, its exciting to have a good piece of music come in from my part of the world, as small as it is. Highgate hail from Florence, Kentucky and have only released a demo prior to this release entitled “Black Frost Fallout”. It would seem that they focus on a morbid fascination of death via war. One can also hear some reference to Sabbath and the stoner sound.
There's a constant kind of mental disharmony ever-present in the background of this release though. The osund is always uneasy, always slightly building on unstability to get to the next chapter. You can almost hear the build and the collapse, like civilizations past coming to ruin only to be rebuilt in new and 'better' ways, better being a term used loosely as 'better' is a point of view and based on the era at hand. It would seem what would have been better for us today would not have necessarily been better in the Victorian era, understandably. While initially the album may not pertain to being about destruction, and with the lack of lyrics and even song titles who would know, the mood of the music at hand cannot be denied.
With no press release, and no other kind of information readily available, its hard to go into detail about what exactly this band is about, but they definitely give the area something to be happy about on the doom front. First Thorns of the Carrion and now Beneath Oblivion and Wraith of the Ropes – these guys are continuing a long line of fantastic doom in the Cincinnati area that has now become famous worldwide. However it must be said that even for funeral doom metal, the music is slightly lacking in atmosphere and production. Most funeral doom has a beefy sound that is easily characterized, whereas this has obviously been recorded in a low-cost home studio. That is the way of music though when you're young and trying to make it, so take from this release what you will. The music has an interesting ambient edge at times to give this long singular track a break here and there. This is for fans of the sludgier side of funeral doom.