Metal Review – Funerary: Starless Aeon

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Metal Review – Funerary: Starless Aeon
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Funerary: Starless Aeon
Ambience, Death Metal, Funeral Doom Metal
Midnight Collective
August 12th, 2014
Release length: 35:13
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Deep in the recesses of Phoenix, Arizona lives a creation known as Funerary, an entity composed of five individuals known only by initials and their desire to create music as bleak and despair ridden as it is heavy. Early 2013, the group began working towards that goal, all the while attracting the attention of newly formed Los Angeles, California label Midnight Collective. The result becomes a five song experience that clocks in around thirty-five minutes of uncompromising hopelessness under the guise of Starless Aeon, a aptly-titled representation of what this multi-headed abomination hopes to accomplish in its first outing. But does this effort slay the thoughts and prayers of all those in their wake, or does Funerary fail to live up to the smallest fraction of the hyped goal?

Starless Aeon does have a raw audio quality that not only makes the already low-tuned instruments heavier, but helps establish an atmosphere that is blacker than midnight itself much of the time. “Coerced Creation” shows off the rich buzzing of the guitars as the song plods along with minimal drumming and a deep bass that have varied impacts. When the gutturals hit around three minutes, you can’t help but feel your spirits being crushed as your plunged into further despair with distant rasps, showing off the group’s Funeral driven tendencies after the more traditional Doom Metal pace that made up the first half.

“Untitled” treads back into the eerie cold once more through haunting guitars against the sound of rain. Growls and chants coming over the music as if carried by the non-existent wind help increase tension as the song transitions into the lengthy “Beneath the Black Veil.” While the deep bass presence works hard at creating as burdening an experience as “Coerced Creation,” the cleaner lead notes and procession-like drum patterns make for a truly depressing experience, even around the seven minute mark that introduces what sounds like a slam with less complexity in the chords before ringing out with higher pitched distortion and plenty of cymbals on par with the introduction to “Raining Blood” by Slayer for a while.

“Starless Aeon” is a thick slab of Ambience through droning notes on the guitar with an effect that makes it sound as though torn from the score of a seventies film during a scene meant to heighten fear. The tone carries on into “Depressor,” keeping that sense of repetition alive in the bulkier riffs of the main verses. Aside the addition of more distant gutturals and harsher screams that are the closest they have been the entire release, as well as having some layering to them, the drums help fill the gaps and keep the track pushing forward for the instruments to catch up at various times. Unfortunately much of what kicks off “Depressor” isn’t that memorable until around the five minute mark when those clean notes come in during another slower shift that the performance leaves any sort of impact on thanks to a trace of what sounds like Post-Hardcore influence.

When it comes to bleak and depressive music, Funerary is definitely on the right track. With the exception of the first couple minutes of “Depressor,” Starless Aeon takes its time creating rich, miserable experiences that nicely accomplish what the band sets out to do. It’s sad that the final song ends up the most rocky, showing this less than two year old group still has room to grow. With the band confirmed for this years Southwest Terror Fest and studio time during it to record a new single, this five-piece shows no signs of slowing down. Hopefully this enthusiasm will end up on par with the band’s output, and not a symptom of over-ambition destroying the chance to nurture the group’s sound a bit longer. As for Funerary‘s debut, Starless Aeon is good, but still shows room for the band to grow.

01. Coerced Creation – 5:28
02. Untitled – 3:55
03. Beneath the Black Veil – 11:51
04. Starless Aeon – 3:12
05. Depressor – 10:46
Initial Pressing Score: 7/10

Funerary
Funerary

Digital review copy of this release provided by Midnight Collective via Southern Cross PR.