Until Death Overtakes Me – Antemortem

Until Death Overtakes Me is one of the several projects of the Belgian musician Stijn Van Cauter, and among them is certainly the most adherent to the typical coordinates of funeral doom. The atmospheres we find in Antemortem are leaden but not suffocating and even the moments closer to ambient keep a more painful than apocalyptic pace, fitting the underlying theme of the work, which always puts in the foreground death but, this time, not as a looming monstrosity but as a natural outcome of a path that leads to a sort of acceptance of its inevitability. Van Cauter, to describe this, uses two tracks dating back to the last decade (Antemortem and Days Without Hope) and two composed just before the release of the album: Antemortem is not affected by the possible stylistic break resulting from the logical evolution of the Belgian musician at the compositional level but rather, makes it a strong point that allows the listener to enter more in symbiosis with the author and his approach to the matter. The twenty-four minutes of Before and the eleven minutes of Days Without Hope are basically complementary, with their painful gait, where enveloping sounds are beaten by the regular and violent spasms caused by the unison and bradycardic manifestation of riffs and percussion. The Wait, another track that exceeds twenty minutes, represents with its crescendo the peak of the emotional state, evoking the spasmodic tension that precedes a conscious resignation, well represented by the final Inevitability, in which the structures outline solemnly consolatory atmospheres. Arrived seven years after the previous full length, the sixth and last of a first phase of a very prolific career for the project Until Death Overtakes Me, and interspersed with a series of singles (then collected in the compilation Well Of Dreams, dating back to last spring), Antemortem is the work that seals the absolute value of the creature of Stijn Van Cauter, lone singer of those feelings that only those who play funeral doom has the courage to face and exhibit without any reluctance.

2016 – Dusktone