The Funeral Pyre
The Nature of Betrayal

While generally, most US black metal seems to be either one man grimness, rather superficial attempts at 1990’s Scandinavian with little or no creativity or identity, or even have some sort of metalcore tinge, California’s The Funeral Pyre have delivered one of the most surprising melodic black/death metal releases to come from a very young US band that I have heard recently.

While certainly rooted in the European movement of the 1990’s, The Funeral Pyre with understated yet effective synths and certain strains of Naglfar/Dissection-esque tenacity and atmosphere mixed with Epoch of Unlight’s sense of voracity and melody, The Funeral Pyre, somehow manage to sounds somewhat unique and there’s a certain American bravado and confidence (no doubt from their tours with numerous metalcore heavy weights) amid the flowing aggressive melodies and often sullen hues of blackened fury.

Also within the glossy synths and polished production is an underlying current of primal energy that reminds me of the Polish death metal movement of the late 90’s that once they got a grip of death metal, tore into it with feral with unoriginal abandon; The Funeral Pyre’s sense of what came before is awash with bright eyed vigor. The eight developed tracks tread heavily on the past with tangible influences too numerous to name, especially the ivory tinkling Daniella and the Gothenburg rasp of John Strachan, but also glisten with just enough modern polish to not be a pure 90’s black metal homage.

Starting with “200 Years”, with starts with delicate keys before exploding in a furious blast beat, then flows impressively through the likes of “In The Wake”, the classically paced “Here the Sun Never Shines”, the foreboding build and superb melodies of the standout title track, the more death metal start of “Plague Leads to Extinction”, the sultry ferocity of “Victims”, the mid paced “Stealing the Breath of Light” (the albums only real misstep of sorts), the album is top quality, even more so considering the origin.

I like what fledgling Creator Destructor (this is only their second release after their fine On Paths of Torment EP) is doing and look forward to great things from this label and this upcoming young band.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
December 4th, 2006

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