Rating:
7.8
Funeral - To Mourn Is A Virtue
24 May 2011


01. Hunger
02. God?
03. Your Pain Is Mine
04. The Poison
05. Dancing In A Liquid Veil
06. How Death May Linger
07. Father
08. Blood From The Soil
09. Wrapped All In Woe


Funeral are, per Solitude Productions, a cult doom metal band hailing from Norway. They were around way back in the day when My Dying Paradise Anathema were doing their thing. To Mourn Is a Virtue is a limited run release of demos and recordings made by the band between 1996 and 2004. The recordings were lost/disappeared/shelved for as long as 15 years before they were remastered in 2010 and, finally, released this year.

Funeral's approach, at least on these tapes, was a bit refreshing. The vocals are almost equally spoken and sung to masterful effect, capturing a melancholic, tragic mood.

Crushing power chord riffs are all over the album, as one might expect in a doom metal album. However that approach shares equal time with the guitarists playing mournful melodies behind vocals, rather than the standard power chord strummed and sustained. This approach really caught my ear and pulled me in, as the two meld and enhance the mood.

As a result of the guitar work, at times this has a bit of a loose feel to it, held together by the bass and the drumming. Especially the drumming. While doom is traditionally a slow tempo genre, and drumming is often quite sparse, there are lots of little rolls and fills to be found in To Mourn Is A Virtue that spice up the tracks.

The result thus far is really enjoyable, and a bit different than either the extreme funeral/death or standard doom I listen to. It had its own distinct character that set it apart from the other doom acts I have in heavy rotation.

Not to be content with that, Funeral seem to enjoy breaking up their tracks with piano or keyboard interludes… While songs have keyboard wash accompaniment, the first couple tracks all take a break with about two minutes to go, and let the sadness of the keys wash over the listener.

They also toss some beautifully sung female vocals in on various tracks like "Wrapped All In Woe", often in the immediate background to function in a similar capacity as the keyboards… adding another element to help capture the mood.

I'm not entirely sure what took so long to get these songs out and into the light of day and I've not listened to Funeral before this. I can say I am glad they finally got released, am happy for the experience and this will definitely not be the last of their albums I check out.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 8


Band profile: Funeral
Album: To Mourn Is A Virtue


 



Written on 07.06.2011 by
BitterCOld
BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.
More reviews by BitterCOld ››



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NocturnalStalker - 07.06.2011 at 11:00  
Funeral is definitely a great band with their unique approach towards doom metal. My favourite is "From These Wounds" so I suggest you check out that album.
As for this compilation, there is not much to mention beside it is a satisfying experience for the ears.
Troy Killjoy - 07.06.2011 at 13:48  
Written by NocturnalStalker on 07.06.2011 at 11:00

As for this compilation, there is not much to mention beside it is a satisfying experience for the ears.

Just to clarify, it's not a compilation. These songs are based on material that was never released.
DerRozzengarten - 07.06.2011 at 16:20  
Well done on the review, i like this band very much and the fact they lost two members throughout the years makes them even more doom And i'm glad they released these ideas now that they have a more spot on direction.
NocturnalStalker - 07.06.2011 at 17:04  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 07.06.2011 at 13:48

Just to clarify, it's not a compilation. These songs are based on material that was never released.

Does it matter? I mean they've taken the songs that never got released before and put them together. Isn't it a compilation too?
Deinonychus - 07.06.2011 at 18:37  
Compared to the other albums, let's say In Fields of Pestilent Grief and on, is this a good album? Is it as catchy and original as IFoPG and FtW were?
NocturnalStalker - 08.06.2011 at 04:50  
Written by Deinonychus on 07.06.2011 at 18:37

Compared to the other albums, let's say In Fields of Pestilent Grief and on, is this a good album? Is it as catchy and original as IFoPG and FtW were?

I'd say no but that's just my personal impression. In any case, it's a good album and totally worth spending some time on it.
Slayer666 - 08.06.2011 at 20:10  
Cool beans. I'm always skeptical about "unreleased material" albums and such (it's mostly just cash crab... if those tracks never got released, there's probably good reason for it) but Bitter convinced me.
Will be checking it out ASAP.

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