Nothing better than a good dosage of doom.
Doom metal is the black sheep of the metal genre. This is due to the fact that it focuses on the wrong end of the metal spectrum, compared to other genres within metal. Rather than focusing on the speed aspect, something which nearly all other metal genres do, doom metal is a lot slower. In place of speed they use good old-fashioned blunt force to get their message across. And like all things in life, some people do it better than others.
Funeral Circle are one of those bands on the higher end of the spectrum. They manage to pull off a doom metal album, which for the greater part manages to avoid the pitfalls often seen within the genre. Rather than feeling like a bloated and sluggish mess, Funeral Circle are a sleek silver machine, slowly pulsing through deep space in search of life.
The band focus on the little parts of doom metal and what we see here is something of an oddball. There are no new innovations on this album, everything on it has been attempted somewhere before. But what we do have is perfection in their technique. The methodical vocals contain just enough vocal changes to not sound monotonous, and the guitars do an excellent job at mapping out the doom of civilisation.
This is best seen on the opening track ‘Scion of Infinity’ with its droning vocal work, chugging guitar riffs and blasting drums. The song shuffles from speed to speed along its length, keeping the listener enthralled as the guitars drone, scream and whine away. Many of the solos on the work have a good hint of technicality on them, compared to some of their kin who exchange technicality for a much more distorted sound.
Funeral Circle is a good album overall, but does occasionally suffer from the same problem that befalls all of doom metal: speed. This is especially apparent on the track ‘Corpus of Dark Sorcery’ which, exactly as its namesake suggests, is far too long for its own good. (For those of you without a degree in Latin, a corpus is a large collection of writings). It has this feeling of keeping you waiting for the entirety of its length and asking you to reach for the skip button.
But apart from ‘Corpus’, everything on Funeral Circle is go. Whether it is the deep bass and drums that keep the album going on steadily, or the guitars which have a very good range of sound considering the genre. Lyrically the album is varied enough to provide some dark and mysterious sections. Whether ‘the end is nigh!’ theme of ‘Tempus Edax Rerum’ or the occult style lyrics of ‘The Charnel God’, Funeral Circle do everything in their power to make the album a doom metal fan’s first port of call.
Funeral Circle might be relatively new to the doom metal machine, but they have arrived with fire in their bellies and their cogs sufficiently oiled. Funeral Circle is a good and stylish first full album from the band. Pagan Canadian doom metal doesn’t get much better than this team of intrepid metal explorers, and Funeral Circle is one of those albums that you should listen to at least once before your ears pack in.
Band’s Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/funeralcircle