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Friday, February 19, 2016

Review: Funeral Mantra - Afterglow

Funeral Mantra was formed in 2010 and consists of 5 members. Hailing from Rome, Italy, They mainly write about the afterlife and have 1 demo out and this album of course. They are very heavily influenced by bands like Black Sabbath and Black Label Society but definitely manage to give it their own little Doom/Sludge twist.

Funeral Mantra’s album begins with an eerie sounding didgeridoo like sound. Yeah. It’s a bit weird but transfers through a monologue and morphs into the second track of the album, Dimensions Onward. The song is a bit uninspiring and while it does give me the urge bang my head I also kind off dislike it. It’s one of those songs you hear in a bar and you’re banging your head but you don’t want to know the band or won’t be bothered to ask the barkeep what’s it’s called.

The mediocrity keeps riding it’s wave of momentum into the 3rd and 4th track. Gravestone Reveries is a blueprint for standard doom/stoner metal, this isn’t necessarily a good thing because it’s a good song. It’s just that I’ve heard it before, everywhere. Brainlost is not that much different. Once again it’s not a bad song.

In these eyes sounds a bit more like they got their own style going on. I like the style. I would describe it as a heavy black Sabbath but with a good singer, Dimebag Darrell on the guitar, but he’s stoned and doesn’t really feel like playing, James Hetfields ‘yeah’s incorporated every now and then.
It works.

Track number six is the title track for the band (not the album). Funeral Mantra starts with the weird intro thing we heard in track one or, Soulstice. But it quickly transforms into the style I described above. It is quite a slow song but fun to listen to.

Parsec might be the best song though. It’s a lot quicker and more energetic. It wakes you up after almost falling asleep because of how standard some of the songs are.

With counterfeit soul we are back to mediocrity though. It does have a real nice solo in it though.

Drifting is just more of the same, again.

Last but not least is the title track of the album (not the band). It starts of slow with thunder, rain and the sounds of the sea and kicks in with a fun riff. The transition to the slow part and vocals is great and I really think this is the best song with Parsec. It’s an 8 minute and 12 seconds journey through doom metal.

The band tried, the band didn’t fail, the band didn’t succeed either. I would give this album a 6.3 out of 10. Funeral Mantra will probably never headline a big festival, nor will they ever unleash a mind boggling industry reshaping album. But they are very solid and can be very fun to listen too.

Written by Koen Oude Kempers


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