There’s something to be said for a name, but L.A.’s Weightlessness doesn’t quite fit into the sounds of the band. It conjures images of dreamy, airy passages and ghostly reveries to get lost in, when in actuality, Weightlessness have executed some of the heaviest and swallowing funeral doom of the year.
This EP Of Lachrymose Grief is the band’s first release, making its way out on tape via Graceless Recordings, and is one that fearlessly treads the line between the old school and the fresher whiffs of doom.
The sorrow and gloom is utterly palpable here, as the trio weaves in and out of Thergothon riffs that are simply dyed-in-the-wool Finnish doom, while engrossing atmosphere a la Loss tops it all off to supreme effect.
As you would expect, Of Lachrymose Grief is a hefty and immersive record that requires your full attention to grasp everything within these protracted passages. This is no more clear than on 16 minute opener ‘The Fostering and the Adjournment’. Much like the artwork, it rustles up images of all-enveloping black and grey and bitter hopelessness with the snail’s pace crush of the guitar that invokes the spirits of Mourning Beloveth, Officium Triste and even early days Katatonia.
Weightlessness have employed a stellar production job on this album too. It’s admirable as many bands attempt to recreate the circumstances that abound when some of our favourite doom records were recorded but nothing can recapture the feel, vibe, and tone of early ‘90s Finnish funeral doom. Records like Stream from the Heavens sound a certain way because of the natural environment. Of Lachrymose Grief sounds very natural too and nods to sounds and influences of yore throughout but always feels “modern” rather than a rehash.
You can hear this in how the band uses different shades in their music. They will up the tempo occasionally (albeit marginally) to swerve us into unexpected terrain; at its midway point ‘Fostering…’ gathers in pace and even touches on death metal terrain briefly. Weightlessness are quick to remind us though that it is doom that brought them to the dance and will quickly revert back to the caving trudge that opened the record.
‘By the Lore of a Morose Stench’ (points for solid doom song title) flirts with DSBM traits in its opening passages, particularly with the rumbling drums setting an altogether miserable tone, exacerbated by the dejected whisper-like vocals. Meanwhile, ‘Swallowed the Sun and the Moon’ is easily the EP’s highlight, with its finest riffs and towering vocals, which should hopefully translate well in the future for an LP.
That’s not the end, though, as the release is then capped off with a cover of Sabbath’s ‘Solitude’, which is certainly not true to the original. Save for some recognisable guitars, one could easily mistake it for one of their own.
This is some very impressive stuff from Weightlessness top to bottom, with doom metal getting a new bright hope.