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F U L L . R E V I E W S



Funeral
From These Wounds

Company: Tabu Records
Release: 2006
Reviewer: Etiam
Genre: Doom
Rating
3.5



  • Every track has qualities that recommend it, but it is not above stumbling at times



  • In the underdeveloped field of Norwegian doom, Funeral frankly hasn't had much competition to worry about. Since their early 90's inception, the band has only have four LP's and a few demos to its name. Perhaps this is for the best, though, for while it may leave fans itching for material, the band has been able to take great care in conceptualizing and recording each album. From their 93 demo 'Tristesse' through 2006's LP, 'From These Wounds', each Funeral release presents a unique perspective on our favorite themes--crippling self-doubt, loneliness, and a morbid preoccupation with death. (It is hard to blame them, however, for either their delays or their dour spirits; in the last five years, two of the band's members have died, one of whom was practically a founding member.)

    'From These Wounds' finds Funeral fully leaving behind the funeral doom of their past, as well as the lead female vocals heard on their past two albums. The band still employs exclusively clean vocals, however, and uses them to great effect through a combination of choral backing and the understated lead of Frode Forsmo. One of the group's newest members, Forsmo also handles bass for the band, and 'From These Wounds' is the first released material on which he appears. Once again, Funeral's leisurely schedule works in their favor, since by the time this album was released, Frode had years to be worked into the band's dynamic and sounds as comfortable hear as one could hope to be in a doom project.

    Alongside him, now taking the lead in Funeral's sound are rich instrumental arrangements, supported by keyboards, acoustic guitar, and occasional soloing. Funeral's melodic phrasing tends towards elegant couplets, both with vocals and instruments, and their mastery of the form is such that even the longest song remains engaging. In fact, given its textures and tempo, 'From These Wounds' sometimes sounds as gothic as it does doom. Fortunately, however, it generally avoids sounding maudlin, in large part due to a scattering of more aggressive modern riffs that bring Solitude Aeturnus to mind. Frode tends to handle these with lower, harmonized vocals with hints of groove--Funeral's equivalent of a harsh vocal accent--as heard in the excellent conclusion of 'Pendulum' or the middle of 'Red Moon'.

    Every track has qualities that recommend it, but 'From These Wounds' is not above stumbling at times. Funeral's knack for vocals doesn't extend to every verse, and Frode's phrasing will sometimes feel too separated from the song's pulse, and their lyrics occasionally trip them up as well. Refreshingly direct for the most part--avoiding the typical invocation of lovelorn shades and heavy mist--sometimes one still wishes Frode's vocals weren't so decipherable. For instance: "When I go out the children they laugh at me...now I feel and look like a clown."

    Still, the line fits in the context and its melody is strong, as are nearly all the rest on 'From These Wounds'. In a genre often caught up in its dramatic trappings, it is also refreshing to hear a group that speaks directly to itself and its audience, no matter the results. This album may be removed from the most down-tempo roots that made Funeral famous, but it is majestic in its tragedy and as solemn as they have ever been.


    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: FUNERAL
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    From These WoundsFuneral
    2006
    Etiam5/9/2008


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: FUNERAL

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