Release DetailsLABEL N/A
RELEASED ON 10/1/2004
The Funeral Pyre
Immersed By The Flames Of Mankind
posted on 1/2005 By:
A demo album comes in from a group of young-looking guys that hail from the OC (Orange County, California – for you non-Americans). It’s gotta be awful, right? Wrong. Much to my pleasure, The Funeral Pyre is the best demo I’ve reviewed here at MetalReview, and I thank them for sending it in.
Immersed by the Flames of Mankind remembers that there must be some death metal in melodic death metal. On top of that they display a songwriting prowess that usually takes bands a couple releases to develop. On first listen, they sound like a more refined, more mature Black Dahlia Murder. Upon further inspection, they bear similarities to some of the earliest Gothenburg bands, such as Ceremonial Oath, Sacrilege, and maybe very early Dark Tranquillity - if those bands had a darker disposition. Now that I think about it, I feel a lot of the same mood that Vehemence’s God Was Created inspired while listening to this album. Their bio is offline, but they appear to have two guitarists, who generally double up on the same riffs, but occasionally they harmonize or diverge. Their soloing could use some work, but it gets the job done. The bulk of the vocals are delivered in a scratchy, throaty bark, with forays into deeper grunts and higher screams. Minor keyboard usage is employed to add a mystical atmosphere, and very rarely placed in the spotlight.
The first thing to notice is how professional the production is, for an unsigned, unsupported band. It’s obviously not top-notch, but there is a subtlety to it, with no instrument sounding too sharp, keeping everything in a nice balance. The next aspect to notice is the songs themselves, eight songs spread over 40+ minutes. “Lies of Eternity” is a good case study of The Funeral Pyre’s sound. Standard death metal riffage opens up the song behind some screamed vocals, things ease up a little into a keys-accented bridge, back to the hard riffs. At 2:55 comes an epic riff which gets built up with drumming, and transforms nicely into a solo before remanifesting into a perfect harmonized line to close out the song. The way they work that one riff for a good minute brings a tear to my eye. “A Fallacy Carved in Stone” again manipulates a strong riff into multiple variants, before giving way to a nifty In Flames-inspired riff at 3:45.
I really hope that there are negotiations going on with this band, because Immersed by the Flames of Mankind blows away a lot of the US bands getting signed lately. 2005 is shaping up to be a year of resurgence for melodic death, with both veteran acts and newcomers contributing. So while you’re out buying your new Dark Tranquillity album, keep The Funeral Pyre in the back of your mind, and would somebody please sign these guys NOW?
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