With a name such as Funerary, you can quite easily deduce that this band from Phoenix, Arizona finds itself deep within the extreme doom/death subgenre. And even though the band comes from a really hot place, their music is as cold as ice. In Starless Aeon, the group unleashes all its malice and melancholy, through the torturing soundscapes of their five songs, without showing any mercy for the listener.
The feedback starts things off, and when the drums come in and “Coerced Creation” has really settled in, the stage is set. Funerary incorporate a glacial pace, with the guitars creating an impenetrable wall of sound. Feelings of claustrophobia begin to arise, while the shrieking vocals soon lay waste to everything in their path. And as a nice twist you are soon introduced to the deep growls that give the album an almost ritualistic vibe.
The band is able to make great use of their ambiances, with the most prominent examples being the two interlude tracks. In “Untitled” the band strips down their instrumentation relying on guitars shrieks, minimal melodies and feedback in order to create an imposing sonic structure. The inclusion of the deep growls in this track is really something, allowing the song to reach an even darker place of the human mind. And of course then there is the title track, also the shortest song in the album, where Funerary is taking on an experimental drone doom outlook, which will make you question reality itself.
Still, this band does what it does best when the really long tracks appear. As “Beneath the Black Veil” takes over from “Untitled” you realize that there is no hope or catharsis to be found in Starless Aeon. Through its eleven minutes the song takes on multiple forms, with the slow pace always present. Funerary send ethereal melodies your way as a sort of distraction from the real pain that will follow. The deep growls awaken a ceremonial-like ambiance from the track while background chants make the atmosphere even more dense and unforgiving. The band structures this song in a magnificent way, taking their time in order to progress into more agonizing moments. The sudden breaks from the probable course that the band is taking on this song (about three and a half minutes in, for instance) are making this trip even more unpredictable and menacing. And when the band lets their full weight and anger out, near the end of the track, you understand that Funerary is a force to be reckoned with.
Of course, then there is the closing track of the album, and the peak of Starless Aeon. The lonely strums at the start of “Depressor” bring in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic vibe. And the band soon enough pins you down with the heavy drums and wall of guitars, as the shrieking vocals begin and make everything else fade away into nothingness. A melodic part halfway in the song gives you a brief moment to catch your breath, before Funerary take this trip to the very edge and end it in chaos and noise, just the way such a journey should end.
Starless Aeon is an insane album, with Funerary showing that they have the ability to encompass all the qualities that an extreme doom/death band should have. The band does not solely rely on their long songs, but includes experimentation and melodic lines within their work. If you are a fan of extreme music you should definitely check them out, simply because there is some fucking cosmic shit happening here! And for fuck’s sake, you can get it on cassette!!! How more cvlt can this get!?
FUNERARY & OOZE Tour Dates:
8/15 Long Beach, CA at The Bucket
8/16 Salt Lake City, UT at Kilby Court* w/ INVDRS
8/17 Denver, CO at Marquis Theatre* w/ Spectral Voice
8/19 Chicago, IL at The Burlington*
8/20 Pittsburgh, PA at Gooski’s*
8/21 Boston, MA at O’Brien’s Pub w/ Fórn
8/22 Brooklyn, NY at The Acheron w/ Fórn
8/23 Philadelphia, PA at Kung Fu Necktie w/ Fórn
8/24 Baltimore, MD at Sidebar w/ Fórn
8/25 Richmond, VA at Strange Matter
8/26 Nashville, TN at East Room w/ Loss
8/27 New Orleans, LA at Sisters In Christ*
8/28 Austin, TX at Beerland**
* w/o Lycus
** w/o Lycus, Ooze