Kanashimi – 闇歌 Yamiuta

At the beginning of 2023, quite a bit of record work was released via Talheim Records. I previously reviewed Happy Days‘ latest album and the debut album of Winter Willow. They are bands that see relatively little daylight and are therefore drained of any joy. It was by no means abominable, but also not as surprising as hoped. Can the Japanese Kanashimi convince us more? With a mix of funeral doom and black metal, there is at least enough hope and reason to take a closer look at the third full-fledged album entitled Yamiuta (Japanese for sadness).

With the opening track 葬歌 (The Funeral Song), the album starts quite abruptly. Without any build-up, we are immediately confronted with the raw voice of inspirer O. Misanthropy. It is nice that the voice is recorded in several layers. In this way it seems as if several singers are involved in this one-man band. The underlying keyboard keys reinforce this effect even more. The tempo is slow, but maybe just a bit higher than the average funeral doom band. Audible in the mix, it is precisely piano keys and guitar work that set the lines. An interesting and very sad song structure, with no room for even a glimmer of daylight. And also the follow-up さみだれ (Samidare) presents us rather slow funeral doom with accompanying keyboard work. The whole thing feels a little less captivating in our opinion compared to the first song. As usual with this genre, the songs are long and quite drawn out. However, the variation is too minimal to convince.

During the third song ゆらり ゆらり we start to lose hope, because where is that mean raw scream and fabricated polyphony that we fancied so much during the opening song? In addition, the bridge part with piano keys is just a little too long and not very interesting. Then we certainly expect a change in atmosphere, partly because the black reference should apply here. However, that change of state or climax stays off. Eitherway, the sadness remains intact over the whole length. The nature of this music is therefore very modest, not surprising that it comes from Japan.

The long title track 闇歌 Yamiuta does bring back some of the atmosphere from the opening track, but O. Misanthropy could have experimented with a bit more harsh screams. It remains very flat, despite the fact that the guitar work during the middle part is quite nice. Well, eventually we can hear that the spell is broken when a scream is heard. Nevertheless, it remains a bit poor and Kanashimi lacks the necessary variety. Even by funeral doom understandings. During 辿り着く場所 we hear a somewhat more hopeful atmosphere. Even though, the vocal parts remain too monotonous, the music too tedious and the spoken words can also not make a difference.

The purpose of the almost two and a half minute long Lullaby then completely eludes us. So why end now in the English language and with a clean voice? It adds nothing to this unfortunately rather mediocre album. Only the first song is worth listening to in our opinion, the rest of the album is mediocre. We can imagine that this could serve as background music during a modest Japanese party, but even then you take the risk that the guests will fall asleep.




Talheim Records, 2023


  1. 葬歌
  2. さみだれ
  3. ゆらり ゆらり
  4. 闇歌
  5. 辿り着く場所
  6. Lullaby


  • O. Misanthropy – Alles