Review Summary: The Sleep of Death Metal Dreams
Over the course of the past year or so, you could say that death metal is making a strong comeback, not only back pedalling to its roots but also pumping out some of the best damn albums to ever hit the sub-genre. Funebrarum is just one of many to fall into this category, surely leaving this open to debate with many purists absolutely loving every moment of this revivalist movement versus the new breed of music listeners saying, “This is just rehash”. I almost feel the need to speak for the purists in saying that as long as metal is going strong, there will always be a need for bands to hark back to the good old days of the early 90s when death metal was at it’s peak throughout the brutal Florida scene and the creepy, claustrophobic atmosphere of the Scandinavian scene. Fortunately for Funebrarum, they sound as if they’ve been listening to death metal for the past 20 years and listening to their brand of death metal, you can clearly hear them borrowing generously from the old school and seamlessly mixing it up with a modern day touch.
And like a ferocious bear attack (or a great death metal album), this album just pummels you from start to finish. Judging by the range of death metal styles over the course of these seven monstrous tracks, you could swear that you received a history lesson of what these guys grew up on. Opener “Perish Beneath” is like listening to your favourite track from Like an Everflowing Stream
with it’s muscular intro and then flying into a classic tremolo picked riff that makes you feel like your being torn apart, limb from limb. “Grave Reaper” is easily one of the best tracks on this album when it comes to showing off those rapid transitions in tempo, smushing you into pulp with frenzied blast beats and at the drop of a hat, switching into a groovy mid tempo rhythm overlaid with one of those creepy melodies that bands like Morbid Angel and the entire Scandinavian death metal scene were so damn good at. Album closers “Nex Monumentum” and “Among The Exiled” are among the best tracks on here with their elongated intros that simply build until the final knockout of sheer brutality.
With all of these comparisons, you must be asking yourself why this is a standout death metal album despite all of the comparisons. For starters, the production is air tight on here, allowing nothing but a howling barrage of gruff guitar riffs and clear-as-glass pounding rhythms to come screaming out of your speakers. Secondly, every track on here contains enough diversity and variation to keep those who may be afraid to venture too far into death metal territory interested for the duration of forty minutes. Thirdly, vocalist Daryl Kahan possesses one of the sickest voices in the entire genre. Listen to his mighty roar while he punishes the listener with his ‘coughing-up-blood’ growls that rumbles to the bottom depths of the ocean. Lastly, this type of throwback album is too hard to resist listening to, if not for its competent musicianship contained throughout than for it’s nostalgic purposes.
No doubt about it, Funebrarum are the true flag wavers of the old school death metal march and The Sleep of Morbid Dreams
should put purists at ease. Once again getting back to my point of the need for throwback bands such as these, bands like Funebrarum exist because our metal universe needs them. We need them to teach the children who were born after the death metal mayhem in the early 90s what this scene was all about. But lest we forget, the people like ourselves who absolutely adore those old school bands, we also need bands like this to remind us of where our roots are on the metal map. Bands like this will never let us forget about how great it must have been to be in the thick of the early 90s death metal scene.