Funeral - In Fields Of Pestilent Grief review


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Band: Funeral
Album: In Fields Of Pestilent Grief
Release date: 2001

01. Yield To Me
02. Truly A Suffering
03. The Repentant
04. The Stings I Carry
05. When Light Will Dawn
06. In Fields Of Pestilent Grief
07. Facing Failure
08. What Could Have Been
09. Vile Are The Pains
10. Epilogue

As this world's obviously greatest metal band ever, Manowar, would say: "Speed junkies and progressive wankers, leave the hall!" Now with that out of the way, I'd like to talk about a band very dear to me, as they were responsible for introducing me to the wonderful, slow and mournful world of doom metal. Thanks guys, a big, very slow smooch for you.

While it may seem odd to you, a band called Funeral does not actually play funeral doom metal, other than their debut, choosing instead a more accessible fusion of somewhat slower traditional doom with hints of gothic carefully laid in appropriate places. And it works like a charm, that I can assure you. Over fifty minutes of haunting, sorrowful dirge awaits.

The first thing you might notice is that beautiful female voice, constantly threading the line between angelic and haunting. At one second, she sounds beautiful and seductive, as if inviting you to join her in mourning, while at the next, she may just as easily turn up the soprano, giving you the impression that you're listening to an angry, howling banshee. Yes, this Hanne, which sadly I've never heard in some other band, is that good. Even with her impressive abilities, it still takes more than a lovely voice to make a good album. Worry not, Funeral has got that covered, too.

Despite the reputation doom metal may have of being monotonous and samey, In Fields of Pestilent Grief actually makes for a pretty dynamic listen. While the gritty guitars mostly drone away in a typically doom-ish fashion, they are not afraid of getting faster and heavier, nor slower and more melancholic when necessary. A good example would be "Facing Failure", where the beginning lead-heavy riff crushes your ears, only to be followed by an agonizingly slow, hauntingly beautiful section. At other times, they can also be just completely damn catchy, such as on "The Stings I Carry," a track that may serve as a break from all the sorrow you'll be drowning in while listening to the rest of the album. Slap on some mesmerizing solos here and there, and you've got songwriting only a nitpick could complain about.

Really, after hearing this album for the first time, how was I supposed to not get hooked on the amazing soundscapes of doom? In Fields of Pestilent Grief, sadly, lacks that magical sparkle to make it a truly brilliant album: everything needed is there, but for some reason, it just doesn't hit as strongly as some other releases from the genre. Nonetheless, it is still a very, very pleasurable listen that I still go back to whenever I want some lighter, less crushing and more elegant doom. If that's what you're looking for, this will be just your cup of tea.

P.S. Hanne, you rock, girl!

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

Written by Slayer666 | 21.08.2011


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This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

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