Un presents Sentiment as an epos of ethereal doom, lovingly crafted and refined. A noteworthy step in their discography to possibly becoming a powerhouse in the doom community.
Funeral doom has received little love this year. There certainly are noteworthy entries, but still very few. Now Un steps onto the scene and tries to give a little more love to this genre romanticization of all things dark and occult. Sentiment is an ode to funeral doom in all its beauty, realized in four quite long tacks.
“In Its Absence” is the vaguely phrased, first title of Sentiment. Flourishing guitars heavy on delay and reverb dance their languid waltz, as a distorted guitar very slowly starts to bleed into the track. At the two-minute mark, the full instrumentation kicks in. The riff from the beginning continues as a lead phrase while a second guitar and bass deliver the foundation for it, with deep droning low end. While the drum keeps the track alive, playing interesting, colorful fills, the stringed instruments seem to almost freeze in time at points. What sticks out here the most is how all instruments are neatly distributed over all frequencies. Bass and rhythm guitar cover the low end, sometimes accentuated by the kick drum, while the lead covers the mid and high frequencies, accentuated here by the snare and crash. This isn’t anything new by far, but the neatly organized and good mix helps the track to shine on all levels, instead of some passages going under the radar because of messy writing or mixing. As the vocals come in they, as well, are tinged in reverb and act as counterbalance to the almost singing lead riff. At the end of the track, this lead changes into a small solo that continues to play until the track is finished.
The almost violin-like lead and massive low end is what makes this track impressive, yet it feels lacking in compelling writing as there are no focus points or parts requiring special attention.
Going on to the next track we have pools of reflection and… what is that? Clean female vocals? Sparse use of lead guitar? Synth leads? Listening to this track felt like listening to an entirely different band! A band that really has done their homework. The crushing low end and growling, guttural vocals are still here, as well as the violin-like lead, this time around with more modulation though. But what’s different is the writing and not just by a bit. A heavily modulated guitar that almost sounds like a synth is one of the highlights of this track before going into one of the gnarliest verses I’ve heard on this album. I was very impressed with how good this band is at writing a compelling, interesting song.
At the end of the day, I really have to stress again how much some parts of this record have impressed me as a fan of the genre, yet just as many parts were kind of bland. Un has proven that they are absolutely able to write extremely good funeral doom, yet some of the songs show none of that. I really wish for Un to find their comfort spot and improve on what they already have done, as they show much potential.