Funeral
As The Light Does The Shadow


3.0
good

Review

by rasputin USER (196 Reviews)
September 21st, 2008 | 29 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Musically well made, As The Light Does The Shadow merely proves that Funeral need a different vocalist.

In 1995, Funeral released a seminal doom album called Tragedies, and the album has left Funeral with a position as one of the pioneering funeral doom acts. Looking back on Tragedies, you can see that Funeral have come a long way. No longer having even a semblance to funeral doom, the band have turned towards a more traditional doom approach to their music; crunchy riffing, heavy on the low-end, and generally at faster tempos than most other doom bands. Furthermore, harsh vocals have completely disappeared, leaving us with a gothic influenced attempt at dreariness. As the Light Does the Shadow does not differ greatly from the band’s previous effort, 2006’s From These Wounds; in fact, it really is the same thing, being an album that is rather good instrumentally, but is let down by a genuinely poor and tiresome vocal performance on behalf of vocalist/bassist Frode Forsmo. This is basically the crux of the album; if you can get past the monotonic nature of the vocals, great enjoyment can be had from As the Light Does the Shadow. Unfortunately, getting past the vocals is no easy task, as they’re in every song (bar one), and are consistently annoying.

The album begins immediately with ‘The Will to Die’, and we’re introduced to the Funeral of now; solid riffing, a tenacious melody, and occasional clean passages, all placed with enough variation to keep this album musically very interesting. Synth effects are used to add texture and provide a greater level of fluidity, and essentially, Funeral do a great job of writing a song. Nevertheless, from the very beginning, the vocals are simply irritating. They’re bearable for a song, maybe two, but before long you’re left wondering whether Forsmo is capable of breaking out of his dreary monotone. There are no alterations in his pitch, and whether it is over heavier music or softer music, his tone remains unmodulated and basically boring. I acknowledge the fact that the band are going for the whole ‘dreary vocals’ feel to the album, but in the end there’s a difference between dreary, solemn vocals, and boring, sucky vocals. To make matters worse, Funeral opted for a guest vocalist on the track ‘In The Fathoms Of Wit And Reason’, namely Rob Lowe of Solitude Aeturnus. The track is probably the best on the record; musically, as with the other tracks, it is fantastic, yet Lowe gives a sense of personality and feeling to the song, something which is lacking on all the others. Hearing such a great performance is no doubt a good thing, but once the track is over and you’re handed back to Forsmo, you’ll be wishing Lowe had never left. In this sense, having a guest vocalist on the album was a bad move, as it just emphasizes the weaknesses of the album.

Perhaps recruiting Lowe as fulltime vocalist is the best thing Funeral can do right now, because they aren’t going to get anywhere with Forsmo. Ultimately, his performance detracts from everything that is good about this album, and this is unfortunate because there is so much potential to be found. If you’re a fan of From These Wounds (in other words, one of the few people who can derive some enjoyment from Forsmo’s voice), definitely have a look at this. The album is well put together, and although suffers greatly at the hands of their vocalist, I’m still hopeful that they will correct themselves in future.



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user ratings (11)
Chart.
3.2
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
rasputin
September 21st 2008


14550 Comments


Review is a little sparse, but I feel what I talked about is really the make or break of the album. I might add a little more to it later, we'll see how it goes.
A rating of 3 is also a little high, it's more like a 2.7 or something, but I decided to be a little generous.

BallsToTheWall
September 21st 2008


44644 Comments


Good review but i'll avoid this like the plague. I'm content with Lost To The Living and Silencing The Moments filling up the minimum for my doom intake for 08.

Digging: Mare Cognitum - Phobos Monolith

fireaboveicebelow
September 21st 2008


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

this represents my views exactly, good review

freudianslipknot
September 21st 2008


803 Comments


Yes good review - vocals are exactly my difficulty with from these wounds. Can't bring myself to listen to it - so I guess I'll give this a miss.

Wizard
September 21st 2008


19522 Comments


No longer having even a semblance to funeral doom

Is it just a coincidence that these guys are named Funeral and someone decided to label their music funeral doom? hahahaha

Excellent review once again rasputin. I may have heard a thing or two from these guys in the past. I will give these guys a shot none the less. Doom feels like there is something there that is trying to catch my interest but I haven't been able to quite grasp it yet? Any suggestions perhaps? Do I interpret the music as hypnotic like post metal?

Digging: Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire

Shattered_Future
September 21st 2008


1541 Comments


What happened to the female vox like on In Fields Of Pestilent Grief? That was a great album. The vocals on this one are really boring.

fireaboveicebelow
September 21st 2008


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Excellent review once again rasputin. I may have heard a thing or two from these guys in the past. I will give these guys a shot none the less. Doom feels like there is something there that is trying to catch my interest but I haven't been able to quite grasp it yet? Any suggestions perhaps? Do I interpret the music as hypnotic like post metal?
for one I wouldn't get this if its an introduction to the band, get in fields of pestilent grief. As far as your last question goes, there are definantly songs/bands with that sort of mantra (Opeth - Dirge for November, Buried At Sea) but it also is a personal perspective whether or not that happens, so it all depends in that sense. For suggestions, it depends what you're looking for, if you want something easier to digest that will help get you immersed in the genre check out Swallow The Sun - The Morning Never Came and Katatonia - Brave Murder Day, and of course there's a number of others of the like. If you enjoy it at that point, from there you have a few paths, either the death/doom like My Dying Bride - The Dreadful Hours and October Tide - Rain Without End, or you have the classic doom like Candlemass - Nightfall and Cathedral - Endtyme, or you have funeral doom like Ataraxie - Slow Transcending Agony or Doom:VS - Aeternum Vale (funeral doom is generally the hardest to digest, but depending on the band is slightly similar to post metal), and then there's always the gothic doom bands like Draconian - Turning Seasons Within and Tristania - Beyond The Veil, and then there's random hybrids that mix doom with post metal like Time To Burn - Is.land and Battle Of Mice - Day of Nights

rasputin
September 22nd 2008


14550 Comments


What firaboveicebelow says is a pretty good way to get into doom. I'd also suggest Worship for funeral doom as they're my favourite band, but that's just me.

On a side note, everyone should check out Tragedies by the band. Far better than this, a mixture of gutturals and fantastic female vocals. I'm going to try and have a review up for it this week because Willie won't have time for it.

Pebster49
September 22nd 2008


2993 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

erm...I like his vocals, but maybe that is just me. From These Wounds was fantastic

sadmafioso
September 22nd 2008


318 Comments


i LOVE this review!

Shattered_Future
September 22nd 2008


1541 Comments


I listened to the track with Rob Lowe, and it's seriously one of the most awesome doom songs I've heard in a while. Needs more collaboration.

Epilogue
September 22nd 2008


1591 Comments


In Fields is still awsome. Still listen to it over and over.
I still want to marry Hanne.
:o
Good review. Im still interested in this, however.

Pebster49
September 22nd 2008


2993 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Trying to get this, I really liked the myspace song

rasputin
September 22nd 2008


14550 Comments


I listened to the track with Rob Lowe, and it's seriously one of the most awesome doom songs I've heard in a while. Needs more collaboration.

Yeah, pretty much.

beans
September 23rd 2008


2332 Comments


really good review man

the summary says it all for myself

rasputin
September 23rd 2008


14550 Comments


Thanks mate.
It's such a shame really, I can see myself enjoying this if it wasn't for the vocals. The track with Lowe is insanely good.

Willie
Moderator
September 23rd 2008


16051 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

On a side note, everyone should check out Tragedies by the band. Far better than this, a mixture of gutturals and fantastic female vocals. I'm going to try and have a review up for it this week because Willie won't have time for it.
I'm looking forward to reading it. It would be months before I wrote one for that album and you're better at it anyway. You said exactly what I thought about this album. After the song with Lowe you just can't listen to the rest of the album anymore.

rasputin
September 23rd 2008


14550 Comments


Yeah, well that's what you told me before I'd actually heard it, and it turned out to be very true.
I'm hoping to get that Tragedies review done this week so I can have it included in the staff evaluation, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to, uni is a bit hectic at the moment

Willie
Moderator
September 23rd 2008


16051 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm hoping to get that Tragedies review done this week so I can have it included in the staff evaluation, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to, uni is a bit hectic at the moment
I forgot that that was coming up. Good luck with it. I'm sure you can.

rasputin
September 23rd 2008


14550 Comments


Yeah, end of this week. You got another review coming in the next few days?



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