Funerary - Starless Aeon
MIdnite Collective
Doom Metal
5 songs (34:29)
Release year: 2014
Reviewed by Neill

Funerary is a Doom band based in my home state of Arizona. I had seen them live before, and was excited to hear them on a studio recording. In a live setting, the band is decent, and does have a good energy. This album is their first studio record, and was a fairly big let down for me. The album itself is far from matching the energy, and overall feeling the band gives off live.

The sound of the band is nothing you haven't heard before. Slow, droning doomy music. Heavy riffs, deep bass, and slow drumming. The vocals go back and forth from a higher shriek to a more death metal growl. One thing I noticed live, is that the band has 2 vocalists. However, they sound similar and even more so on this record. It sounds like the band abandoned the 2 vocalist approach and it sounds like the same person on the entire record. The vocals themselves are well done. The deeper vocals add more atmosphere to the music, and the higher vocals sound strong, but also lack any real feeling. There is also some longer, drawn out passages on the album, which considering 3 of the songs are no more than about 5.5 minutes, is pretty startling. There is really no momentum on this record. The opening track Coerced Creation builds decently well, but comes to a dread stop and the last couple minutes are just droning and boring.

It does not stop there either. The longer tracks on the record are far too long. Beneath The Black Veil has some decent melody in the guitars, and good atmosphere from the vocals, but it feels like a chore to actually listen to the entire song. There are plenty of bands doing a similar style of music (and this band clearly has taken from many of them) but they manage to make the music feel like a movement. Funerary has the elements of doom down, but forgot to make things interesting and have some meaning. This feels like meandering for the sake of it. Both Untitled and Starless Aeon are just ambient interludes basically. Which, personally, I feel a title track should be more than an interlude, and should be a big part of the album. The final track is probably my favorite, and finally brings back some interesting stuff. The vocal changes (high to low and low to high) are well done. The song itself does feel more urgent, and actually feels like progress is being made. However, it is far too little too late.

Production wise, the album sounds quite nice. The instruments are very clear. The keys, the scratching of guitar strings, the deep bass, everything is audible and clear in the mix. The vocals come off a little buried at times, but in this case (at least with the low vocals) they do add a nice atmosphere, so I enjoy the lower mixing. The only thing is, as stated earlier, I am not sure of the band is still using 2 vocalists or not. It's hard to tell the difference live, and impossible on a record. I feel 2 vocalists are unneeded if they both sound so similar. The production is sadly probably the most interesting thing the record has to offer, but is early negated by some really uninteresting and cliched music.

As stated at the beginning of the review, the band is decent live. They have a good energy, and the songs feel powerful and important. This is a band that is good to see live, but they do not translate well to a studio recording. Perhaps with time they can bring that power and feeling to a studio recording, but as it is right, now, see them live if you have a chance, but there's no need to pick this up. If you are inclined to check those out, however, you can do so here.

Killing Songs :
Neill quoted 40 / 100
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