Bleak Bill Returns: Illimitable Dolor – Self-titled (2017)

This self-titled release by Illimitable Dolor is quite somber in subject matter as well in overall atmosphere. The band is composed of four members of The Slow Death, which is also on the Transcending Obscurity label. I haven’t thoroughly listened to The Slow Death, but I like to think that the members simply reacted, in the best way they knew how, to the passing of their friend and bandmate. The resulting album is actually quite fitting considering the circumstances. I hope that the creation of this album is cathartic for all of those impacted by the tragedy.

The atmosphere seems to waver between melancholy and frustration. Illimitable Dolor is a shining example of what funeral doom is at its roots, not what it can be. While I personally enjoy the album, it is not pushing the boundaries of funeral doom. But then again, no one asked them to. There are similarities to bands like Mournful Congregation, Eye of Solitude, Skepticism, and even Tempel when the tempo picks up. I understand the intent of the tempo changes, and the contrast they provide, but it seems like the guitars are just a little slow on the faster parts. Illimitable Dolor is not the only funeral doom band that sound out of place playing faster. In fact, I find myself wishing most funeral doom bands would stick to the slow stuff. The funeral pace and atmosphere is why I enjoy listening to these bands anyways.

Illimitable Dolor use the keyboards/organ quite well and the drums are ever plodding, suiting the procession of the composition. I do wish the weeping guitars were a little more prominent, especially on the first track “Rail of Moon, A Stone”. This track is by far the strongest track and conveys a beautiful atmosphere of grief. Most of the album is spent at a processional pace, and this is reinforced by the repetition and fluidity of the songwriting. I don’t think you can be a successful funeral doom band and not be a master of repetition, but it is always pleasing to hear a meaningful atmosphere executed so well. – Bleak Bill

(4 Tracks, 44:32)



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