The Crooked Whispers, Funeral Blues (Ripple 2023)

Occult doom band The Crooked Whispers have more dark stories to tell on their second album, Funeral Blues.

The Crooked Whispers first invaded our earspace in 2020 with their debut full-length album Satanic Melodies. The doom had an insidious quality you do not usually hear in this lane. The EP Dead Moon Night came next, and then the split Last Call From Hell with Fulanno. Each page added to their book was a new revelation, leading to the latest, Funeral Blues, which is the best so far. The band is Anthony Gaglia (vocals), Ignacio De Tommaso (bass, keys), Federico Ramos (guitar, keys), and Nicolás Taranto (drums).

“Suicide Castle” gets the darkness rolling on a wicked riff with evil intent. It is killer doom, constructed with corners and crags that cast deeper shadows. I was not ready for the vocals when they arrived, reaching out with clinging, hooked tendrils; a vile hiss. There is a rough turn in the middle that rolls the rhythm in a different direction, more at stride with possessed workmen loading corpses on a mossy barge. And then, suddenly, it all fades fast, making space for “Stay in Hell,” itself a walking nightmare. What is different about this doom music is the way that, somehow, story is embedded in the musical lines beyond the spoken narrative. That is to say, you can feel the concept before you ever hear any singing.

Every song creates its own indelible impression, without exception. I do have a sinister affection for the title track, where the hissing is especially ichorous and the guitars are particularly woesome. The cleaving chop of “Deathmaker” is enthralling, too, and “Crippled Shadow” is so haunting it will follow you into your dreams and continue to devil you there with its funereal enterprise. The final word is “Bed of Bones.” I hear this track as a sort of set stone for the entirety, bringing it all together. This record is a dark pleasure. Recommended.

Funeral Blues is out now through Ripple Music. Hit up the links below.




Ripple Music,

© Wayne Edwards

The Crooked Whispers, Funeral Blues (Ripple 2023)