The Funeral Pyre
posted on 6/2008 By:
Who here flies the flag for The Funeral Pyre? Speak now or forever hold your piece, of Hot Topic paraphernalia that you just got home from the mall with. I commend your allegiance. Now tell me what you're fighting for.
If you might have the occasional tendency to judge a book by its cover (it's fun!) like I, then you might have mistaken these five short-haired and full-bearded, thick-rimmed glasses and flannel wearing Californians for Virginians, doing what Virginians do really well: southern tinged, ditch-diggin', tree choppin', barely bathin', beer logo belt-buckled style metalcore that one would not be surprised to find on the Prosthetic record label. Oh boy, were we wrong. The Funeral Pyre are a self-professed DM/BM hybrid with an influence taken heavily, but not entirely, from everywhere but their own soil. Try Sweden. Try Norway. And then try to wash those off with the States. Doesn't work so well. The name alone evokes blandness, which half of the time is just a case of "great band, shitty band name". And I'd go as far as to say, that with 2006's The Nature of Betrayal, it was a clear case of "decent band with better things on the horizon, given the benefit of the doubt, but shitty band name". Betrayal showed a little bit of promise in a fair and pretty even mix of melodic death metal meets black tendencies. With two years to fine tune their niche and bring to surface the underwhelming, Wounds became an anticipated event slowly building for me. Now that the day has finally arrived, the first thing that I can say is "Great fucking album......title." Perfect, actually. Their wounds are wide open and revealed, and when you peel back the torn flesh to see if it's getting infected, really all that's inside of the cut is one of those little dangling paper edges left over from when you tear a page out of your notebook. Yeah, this is a papercut. That's it, that's all. Wounds leans heavier on the BM than the DM somehow, even though it sounds backwards, through less keyboard use than previously heard, and then also through an extreme overuse of (tried-and-truly-generic-at-this-point) guitar harmonies as "riffs", not as "leads". Don't get it twisted. Twin-guitar attack leads rule, and cannot be found here. This here is open chords speed-picked as melodic guitar harmonies almost all of the time, backed by constant loose-ended blast-beats almost all of the time, like it's all this guy knows how to do. I'm not making an issue out of Wounds' sloppiness. There can be "mystique" in sloppiness (e.g. American BM band Panopticon's self-titled. Fucking great. Thanks Matt.), but the songwriting here is so one-dimensional that it may cause drowsiness. I'm not implementing some rule for mandatory palm-muted breakdowns or anything. That's just a step to the side. Leaps and bounds forward might be more tastefully found in subtracting some of the stock vocal approach (agonizingly raspy from start to finish, surprise), or perhaps writing in some well thought out drum parts that break the monotony. Shit, throw some actual real violin or other stringed instrument in there. Get crazy. Get all Into the Pandemonium on it. Let the guitarists catch their breath. Something. Anything. And just when you think I have nothing good to say, I'll say something almost good. I'll say that tracks like "The Gathering Bones" and "Ghostwalker" step outside of TFP's box for just a moment with trance inducing intros, and then i'll say that I hoped that those intros would build and build and build into some monolithic emotional tidal wave that would force me to push 6's on all accounts and wipe my memory clean of the other 48 minutes, but it must sadly be said that a certain blast-happy drummer pulled the trigger on my romance, both times. Perhaps there's a love affair waiting to be rekindled in the lyricism of Wounds. I can't understand a fucking syllable though. When I get a hold of something heart-altering, you'll be the first to know.
Until then, caveat emptor.
p.s. Erik Rutan mixed Wounds. It does not sound like an aural love affair between either party. Actually, there's nothing spectacularly impressive about the sound. Rutan usually chews me up and spits me out with his spectacularly impressive button pushing. I couldn't even tell that he was in the same room as this. Thus, the reason that this fact ended up as a footnote.
Register to post comments.
RelatedThe Funeral Pyre
3/10/2009 The Funeral Pyre
The Nature of Betrayal
9/12/2006 The Funeral Pyre
Immersed By The Flames Of Mankind