Hallowed Butchery - Funeral Rites For The Living
12 June 2009

01. A Wake For The Human Race
02. Pantheon Enthroned
03. Great North Woods
04. Back Asswards
05. Kingdom (Within You)
06. The Kennebec
07. Abolish The Pulpit
08. The Kennebec (Reprise)
09. After The Gold Rush [Neil Young cover]

Hallowed Butchery's Funeral Rites For The Living is one of those CD's that mysteriously made its way into my collection without me knowing how or why. I remember someone sent it to me once, a few months back possibly, but I have no recollection of who that someone is or was. It may even have been one of those benign guardian angels, I've heard they are pretty active once again these days.

Anyway, Hallowed Butchery is pretty cool. Mr. Fairfield claims to take influence from bands ranging from Black Sabbath to Johnny Cash and back to Melvins, passing Cocteau Twins and T. Rex along the way. While I'm sure he enjoys all these (great) bands, the end result has more in common of Funeral Doom á la Tyranny blended in with a good deal of Sludge, various hysteric movie samples and the occasional odd part.

Those ill-willed could argue that the album doesn't really have a story to it, that it doesn't really go anywhere. And it is a fact that this album does not contain 'songs', or a musical red thread. In fact, this album is pretty random, but I believe it is random intentionally so. Like a carnival bizarre, sections of groaning angry sludge morph into warm acoustic strumming, while moments later tribal drums and symphonics take over and push the wall of sound sky high, to later dissolve into a Neil Young cover that leaves you with that particular feeling you have after having been drugged up and drugged out for way too long. That is, in a nutshell, this album, and it's musically deranged and innovative structure is what I so greatly appreciate. If you're in for this, all you have to do is sit back and enjoy this grande collage of various extreme and estranging sounds. For some every musical idea that is portrayed is too short-lived, but to me it adds to the schizophrenic nature of the album.

Besides that, the musicianship is top-notch and the impressive atmosphere Mr. Fairfield puts up all by himself is quite a feat. Even the production has been taken care of wonderfully - Hallowed Butchery doesn't settle for half-done work, it seems. Every instrument blends nicely in with the others, no tones sound out-of-context or misplaced and when the need is there the sound is downright majestic.

It seems this album has been out for a quite a while, but there hasn't been much attention for it. Quite unfair in my humble opinion - but I have my fingers crossed that the next release (if?) will be as good or better and will stir the waters o' doom with greater force. And I'm pretty damn sure it will.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 8


Written on 28.08.2009 by
If you're interested in extreme, often emotional and underground music, check out my reviews. I retired from reviewing, but I really used to be into that stuff.
More reviews by Lucas ››


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gid - 29.08.2009 at 21:29  
Sounds interesting. And the album cover creeps me out, which is always a good thing.
Thanntos - 30.08.2009 at 01:31  
Wasn't this released in 2007? Or was that just a demo, and re-released this year?
Marcel Hubregtse - 30.08.2009 at 12:39  
Written by Thanntos on 30.08.2009 at 01:31

Wasn't this released in 2007? Or was that just a demo, and re-released this year?

King Bonzo - 14.02.2010 at 16:34  
Listening to this, loving the folky elements, very promising band and a very good release. Quite original.

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