Funeste’s debut EP was released less than two months ago, and in that time the band has received an unheard-of amount of press, via Robex Lundgren, Tape Wyrm, Forever Slain Zine, and Invisible Oranges. In fact, you may have caught wind of the Montreal duo on CVLT Nation earlier this month, by way of our Top 4 Black Metal Bands… You Should Hear Today!
This, of course, begs the question of what all the fuss is about; but that uncertainty fades away as soon as you see and hear the thing. Funeste fucks with your head from the get-go: the logo screams black metal, and the cover art screams crust, but whatever it is, it’s far more meaningful and put-together than your average demo presentation. The field of dismembered corpses, the bright fence posts piercing the black sky, and the “moon” hovering above it all… it’s gruesomely beautiful, and warms the listener up pretty well to the bleakness and chaos it contains.
Listening to this demo, one realizes within the first few minutes that Funeste (roughly translated as baneful) are prepared to break any ropes an audience could attempt to restrict them with. As soon as the Moon synths and Xasthur-esque dissonant guitars on “Le triomphe du charnier” start to carve a path into your mind, things start to get spacey, even psychedelic, before developing into a strikingly emotional passage that could give Opeth a run for their money. At just the right time, the band drops into opener “Diptera” and you’re blanketed under a lead-weight wave of black/doom.
If I had to nail down Funeste as a single genre of metal, then yes, the fuzzed-out vocals, overall production, and blast beat passages effectively pigeonhole them into the black metal category. But I wouldn’t be happy about doing it, and it wouldn’t do this demo any justice. The record’s greatest strength is its ability to combine a fucked-up number of apparent influences into one discordant, but congruous whole, and as such it’s going to appeal to fans from countless different walks of extreme music: even within a single track, raw black metal mingles with tech-death riffs and doomy, atomospheric bass breaks. To hell with metal cliques, the songwriting on this demo is solid enough that maybe, if there’s any justice, this’ll be one we can all agree on.