Walking Amongst The Graves
Recently I came along the quite unusual yet highly interesting label Merdümgiriz (nowadays based in London), which focus on Underground material especially, with releases handmade by one of the label’s owners, Emir Togrul. On April 18th 2016 I published a review for Grimmdrasil’s The Cold Haunting Loneliness Of Crushing Certainty, and the month before, on March 28th, I uploaded a review for the grandiose album …Of Doom And Despair, created by international act, yet Italy-born, Funeral Of God. For some additional information about Funeral Of God’s former activities, I’d like to refer to this site’s update of March 28th 2016. At this moment it’s better to enter the band’s or label’s name in the ‘search’ tab, because we’re still dwelling through impenetrable technical ignorance after Dirk’s passing away…
Anyway, Walking Amongst The Graves is a new EP (on tape), released by Merdümgiriz. It was recorded by founding member Paolo ‘Odio’ Cerretini (all instruments) and Merdümgiriz’ Emir Togrul (vocals and lyrics). All copies are hand-painted and self-printed by the artistic mind of Emir, like about all releases on this guy’s label.
The EP opens starts the title track, opening with a very short introduction, a vocal sample from a source a do not know about (funny detail: the happily singing bird on the background). Quite soon, Funeral Of God show their true face: an ugly, heavily tortured, scarred one it is. It is not an easy task to describe this stuff, to put a label on this material. Quite much in the vein of Woods Of Belial, Urna or earlier Ævangelist, for example, Funeral Of God perform some sort of Morbid Apocalyptic Occult Industrial Funeral Doom Black Metal, somewhat mechanical at times, and quite ominous and spooky too. It might be less ‘blackened’ than the former full length release, especially because of the changement in vocal approach, yet at least it is as suffocating, focusing on aural discomfort and, at the same time, sonic satisfaction (the sadomasochistic way!).
Heavily distorted strings and a slowly-pounding drum computer interact in quite a sick way, yet the weird vocals make the whole even more perverted and unbearable. Indeed, don’t we all crave for such mental terror. It results in a love-it-or-hate-it thing, but that’s up to you – and to how much you can bear, how strong you can stand. I’m a brave boy, so I belong to the love-camp.
Anyway, those interested in stuff à la Ævangelist, Woods Of Belial, Goatpsalm, Gnaw Their Tongues, Sigihl, Urna or Chaos Echoes know what to search for! Be warned, be prepared!
Most every release that Merdumgiriz puts out isn’t exactly what you would call normal as most releases stray way off the beaten path to create their own sordid path. Funeral Of God is no different. They blaze their own twisted path of psychotic music and with their newest release Walking Amongst The Graves they take you down this path with them. When it comes to releases such as this, you come to expect the unexpected and if you know Merdumgiriz the unexpected is their specialty.
Even though you never really know what you will be getting when you dive into aMerdumgiriz release, what you can expect is that it is going to be psychotic, dismal, abrasive and it is most likely going to be something that you haven’t quite heard before. With that being said, there are no dull moments within this four track record. It keeps you on your toes at all times as it sinks you lower and lower into the pits ov the netherworld with each passing minute.
Walking Amongst The Graves doesn’t supply you with droves of songs to grate your skull against, but with there being only four songs on this record, each song has a fairly decent run time. Within minutes you sink yourself in the back of your own mind sitting in recesses that are cold and dreary. Walking Amongst The Graves is heavy on a different kind of level. Instead of being purely head caving, it is soul shattering and mind warping.
These types of releases play with your inner demons and create soundscapes that are bleak, cold and devastating. Once you begin listening you become trapped in a labyrinth from which you cannot escape. What Funeral Of God provides for you is an album that is both gloomy and harsh all at the same time. So while a dismal cloud hangs over your head you are getting struck by lightning at the same time.
Funeral Of God rattles your brain and shatters your soul with buzzing riffs that transition between slow doom filled dirges and buzzing blistering onslaughts. The drums are solid and the bass is ever present as it rumbles in the background. Vocals in each song both roar and mystify. The roars are purely demonic and the more hypnotic mystifying vocals are haunting and truly are terrifying. Along with the punishing musicianship are added odd sounds that push the dark atmosphere further into something that is almost poisonous.
Walking Amongst The Graves is an interesting listen, one that takes you into the darker corners of your mind. Funeral Of God does a good job of mixing tempos and sounds as well, never sticking with just one singular sound making things interesting for the listener. Walking Amongst The Graves is heavy, dark and mysterious, and if you are looking for something new and intriguing, this would be a good place to start.
Blackened Death Zine
Funeral Of God are a band from Italy that has recently been featured in this zine and plays a mixture of black, death metal and funeral doom and this is a review of their 2016 ep "Walking Amongst The Graves" which was released by Merdumgiriz.
Spoken word samples start off the ep before going into a heavier musical direction which is more close to funeral doom along with some grim black metal screams and deep death metal growls a few seconds later while the synths give the music an atmospheric sound that has elements of ambient.
Programmed drum beats can be heard quite a bit throughout the recording and when the music speeds up a small amount of blast beats can be heard while the songs for the most part stick to a very slow yet heavy and dark musical direction that mixes a good amount of influences from both the 80's and 90's while also always avoiding any use of guitar solos and leads.
Funeral Of God creates another recording that takes black and death metal and mixes it with funeral doom to create some very dark and heavy sounding music, the production sounds very raw yet heavy at the same time while the lyrics cover dark and ritualistic themes.
In my opinion this is another great sounding recording from Funeral Of God and if you are a fan of black, death metal and funeral doom, you should enjoy this ep. RECOMMENDED TRACKS INCLUDE "Walking Amongst The Graves" and "Obscurity And Despair".
...Of Doom & Despair Reviews
Funeral Of God are an Italian act that were formed in 2010 by Paolo ‘Odio’ Cerretini, also involved with extreme acts such as Mincer, In League With Satan, Glioblastoma, G.N.C. or Red Bible Black. Soon Paolo (bass and lead guitars, drum programming) got joined by Ukrainian artist Mariya Popyk. She’s especially known, I think, for her paintings / drawings, and the duo did record and release a first (untitled) demo in 2012; Paolo taking care of bass, lead / rhythms guitars and drum programming, and Mariya doing the keyboards and vocals. Very soon after they recruited Lorenzo Sgariboldi, and they did re-record the demo material, this time with Maryia doing the rhythm guitar parts too, and Lorenzo taking care of the bass parts (and Paolo focusing on the lead guitar parts and the programming). It resulted in their first album, …Of Doom And Despair, with the tracks from the 2012-demo and some new ones. Recently the band signed to Turkish labelMerdümgidiz, which releases this first album. FYI: also the newest Funeral Of God effort (Walking Amongst The Graves) will see the light via this label (with label co-owner Emir Togrul participating too). In a couple of days / weeks / decades I will write and upload the review for that one too, but let’s now focus on …Of Doom And Despair.
…Of Doom And Despair lasts for fifty minutes, and opens with the intro Reflections On Endless Void, standing for a somewhat weird but intriguing Industrial-injected form of Ambient. The first ‘real’ track is Sliding In The Mouth Of Hell, and with the intro I had the feeling that this album could be something outstanding. Sliding In The Mouth Of Hell is a confirmation of this prophecy! It’s quite strange to experience, though mostly different from what we’re used to.Mariya’s voice is of an exceptionally weird and harsh kind, so sick / sickened / sickening, with that echoing effect and that buzzing sound. The drum computer too adds this material with something uncomfortable, for penetrating the whole with a mechanical and post-apocalyptic touch of destruction. It’s not really reinventing the scene, but stillFuneral Of God come with a very characterising own approach. The variation in tempo and structure is necessary, but since it’s prominently present, it’s a surplus to conserve attraction and attention.
Fine are the additions like church bells or samples, the extremely doomy passages, the hints of hypnosis, the obscure, ritual and mystic atmosphere, the echoing voice aspects, the goatlordian acid, and the inherent feeling of discomfort / disturbance / discordance.
Remarkable but not all of a sudden, the newer compositions are little more guitar-oriented, but this surely will have to do with the fact that band leader Paolo nowadays rather focuses on the lead guitar aspects (cf. Mariya and Lorenzotaking over the background rhythm string part duties). But it isn’t but a detail, for the inherent and explicit nature ofFuneral Of God’s performance remains quite the same.
The mainly slow creations mingle elements from ultimately raw Ritual / Occult Black Metal, evil Funeral Doom, extreme Blackened Morbid Death Metal and Noise - Death Industrial – Drone Dark Ambient stuff, reminding me of some symbiosis of Urna, Woods Of Belial, Gnaw Their Tongues, Ævangelist, Ancient Moon, Goatpsalm, Mordor (the Swiss one), Nashehrhum and Hoth, including hints of Necrophagia and Goatlord. The gruesome grimness of these comparisons get strengthened by the extreme, rough and poisonous production, dry as desert sand, raped and tortured… Besides, the mechanical suppression works disturbing, adding even more dissonance and chaos to the frenzy and psychosis. It’s a heavily digestible album, …Of Doom And Despair, and not every human soul will enjoy the beauty of this creation. But you must give it a try if you like any of higher mentioned styles of bands / projects!
Black Metal Spirit
La banda comienza su andadura en el 2010 teniendo como referente el estilo opresivo, pesado y oscuro de bandas como Celtic Frost, así en 2012 lanzan su primera demo a partir de la cual el grupo comienza a trabajar en nuevo material al mismo tiempo que su line-up sufre algún que otro retoque. Con este" ...of Doom & Despair" vienen de retomar la carrera de la banda y en él incluyen tanto temas nuevos como los de la su primera demo. En cuanto al sonido de los once temas entregados en su primer larga duración transitan por lugares cercanos al funeral doom, eso esta fuera de toda duda, pero también recogen influencias de sonido industrial, todo ello desde una perspectiva pesada y aplastante. Desde el comienzo del álbum el oyente se ve inmerso en una vorágine de sonido denso y putrefacto, en donde la inquietud y los sonidos industriales y repetitivos van haciendo mella en subconsciente. Todo ello acompañado de una densidad y oscuridad muy bien recreada, en donde también la disonancia de las composiciones y el ritmo casi que lineal de las voces convierten los cincuenta minutos del álbum en una experiencia casi que extenuante, violenta e insana. Tal vez se eche en falta algo más de variedad en las composiciones, sin embargo la ambientación lograda está fuera de toda duda.
Fran Rocha Fernandez
Blackened Death Metal Zine
Funeral Of God are a band from Italy that plays a mixture of black, death metal, funeral doom and ambient and this is a review of their 2016 album "...Of Doom And Despair" which was released by Merdumgiriz.
Ambient sounds start off the album along with some distorted effects as well as some clean playing a few seconds later and after the intro the music goes into more of a heavy and atmospheric funeral doom metal direction along with some grim black metal screams and after death metal growls are also added into some parts of t he songs.
When the music speeds up a decent amount of blast beats along with tremolo picking can be heard along with the songs also adding in more 90's influences and the music also mixes in avant garde elements at times and some of the songs also bring in a great mixture of slow, mid paced and fast parts and as the album progresses a small amount of melody can be heard at times and a couple of the tracks are long and epic in length and there is also a brief use of spoken word samples and the last track also introduces melodic guitar leads onto the recording.
Funeral Of God plays a musical style that takes old school death metal and black metal and mixes it with funeral doom and dark ambient to create something very dark, heavy and original, the production sounds very raw yet heavy at the same time while the lyrics cover darkness and occultism themes.
In my opinion Funeral Of God are a very great sounding mixture of black, funeral doom, death metal and dark ambient and if you are a fan of those musical genres, you should check out this band. RECOMMENDED TRACKS INCLUDE "Sliding In the Mouth Of Hell" "Encrusted Nails Of Obsession" "Hail to Degenerator" and "Meditation Into Erebus".
8 out of 10.