How slow can one play before interconnections between melody begin to show signs of disintegration? For what duration can a musical phrase be stretched of itself and still maintain general coherence and kinship with the overall structure of the song without collapsing under its own weight? Funeral doom bands have tried experimenting with these limits for a long time, suspending the listener’s attention as it were in a singular instant of time, and using the individually strummed chord not just as component or coloring aspect in a larger palette but as a private encapsulation of mood and a mode of meditation. If you’ve ever stared at a point on the wall for long enough and concertedly enough, the surrounding world gradually begins to dissolve around you. Funeral doom strives to create this same effect in the minds of its audience; in doing so, it moves past the egocentric aspirations of more conventional doom, seeking to establish a more meaningful bond between the listener and his environment.
Encoffination walk a tightrope between death metal and funeral doom, not in the sense of interspersing doom with death in the manner of a band like Disembowelment. Encoffination‘s music stays within the boundaries of death metal as influenced by Incantation, but just about. Like death metal, this music is composed of actual riffs that play an integral part in a larger, unfolding narrative, but Encoffination‘s strategy is to slow it down to an absolute crawl, draining the songs of all energy without lapsing entirely into the outright somnolence of funeral doom. In doing so, Encoffination move listener attention from the inherent quality of riffs – which in all honesty aren’t exactly novel – and focus it on the way they tie into the larger concern of the entire album. The band clings adamantly to the low end, occasionally teasing with a brighter note that immediately bends back upon itself, returning to its morose fold. A punishing experience, Hear Me, O Death grants no reprieve to an overwhelmed listener. This is slow, dark, and extreme music that will cull through its audience by its very nature.