6 May 2013
Narrow House - A Key to Panngrieb [Full length] (2012, Solitude Productions)
Hailing from Ukraine I can only imagine what bleak and desolate place spawned Narrow House into existance. 4 man and 1 woman strong the band's lot in life is creating godforsaken funeral doom metal focussing on atmosphere, and in 2012 the world would hear the first eldritch groaning that the band has to offer.
Like the strange creaking and moaning of a long-abandoned house the 4-track album slowly blunders into life with the opening track. The mental images created by Narrow House at this early point are those of complete desolation, abandonment and horrid lonesomeness - As it turns out these themes of eerie atmospheres and tenebrous matters are frequent on the album, and definitely one of the band's strongpoints. Their incorporation of classical instruments such as the cello fits the style of funeral doom metal perfectly and gives the music a destinct feel of authenticity and hints toward the filmic, making it almost sound like the soundtrack to some long forgotten black and white silent horror movie.
Narrow House have put the funeral in funeral doom metal with A Key to Panngrieb. Though I don't understand a word of their lyrics or song titles the music speaks its own language. A language of death, ragnarok and darkness. To some the music of the Ukranian band may seem uneventful or bland, but to me it seems to have great depth and particularly well thought through. Add to this that the production is as clear as it needs to be with this type of music. It leaves every aspect audible and yet making it possible for the band to have certain suggestive themes that make their music excel in creating atmospheres.
I like how the funerary procession guitars aren't actually the main focus of the band. The droning chords of guitar and bass go perfectly in unison and are crucial to the music, but without the vibrant cello-work the album would be incredibly boring. The tracks are generally speaking very lengthy, and this serves both as the main attraction and annoyance of A Key to Panngrieb. As most funeralesque graveyard bands the length of the tracks can make it hard to stay interesting, especially when there's so little going on. But again, this is both the thing that makes this type of music work and the thing that makes it tiresome to listen to for prolonged periods of time. But all in all A Key to Panngrieb is a prime example of great funeral doom metal, even if it isn't the heaviest of sorts. 8/10 guitars.
1. Poslednee Pristanishe
3. Steklianniy Bog
4. Pod Maskoy Etoy
NARROW HOUSE official site
NARROW HOUSE official Facebook
Solitude Productions official site