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Funeral : In Fields of Pestilent Grief

I have to admit, that when I first heard this album, I hated it. There, I said it. It was a massive let down as the music made by Funeral in the past was crushing in all respects, emotionally and sonically. What happened between the release of 'Tragedies' to the release of 'In Fields Of Pestilent Grief', I don't know. As such, I discarded the album and forgot about it for a long time. I had made the mistake of basing my opinion on what it isn't, rather than what it is. Big mistake.

So what is it then? Well for a start, the funeral atmosphere has disappeared, the excruciatingly slow and depressing pace of the music has vanished, replaced instead by a more aggressive and angry atmosphere whilst still sounding truly doomed, and there is not a single growl in sight. Instead, the music is much more uptempo, and heavily dominated by a female vocalist, who is Funeral's strongest yet in my opinion. Yet, despite all this, the album is still uncompromisingly Funeral. This can be heard in the guitar riffs and solos in particular, which sound like a natural evolution from previous works. They still have that trademark Funeral tone and sound, yet this time with an added lashing of aggression and hatred, which suits the new style of Funeral very, very well, and compliments the soaring female vocals which alongside the guitars drive the music.

All that said, there are moments where the music slows right the way down and we are treated to flashes of Funeral of old, without sounding forced at all. This is particularly noticeable in 'Truly A Suffering', which starts off in a manner that would not have sounded misplaced in previous albums. Again, as with all brilliant albums, I would have a very, very hard time trying to pick out favourites, or highlights of the album, as the songs work together very well as a whole and as individual tracks, with a very consistent quality of songwriting. I should point out however that the last track, 'Vile Are the Pains', loses the female vocals all together, replaced instead with some deep, clean singing, that sounds like it could and maybe should break out into a bout of growling of old. Also the title track, is a very short piano instrumental, that sounds very delicate and lonely, giving a very short break in the album that doesn't sound out of place in the slightest, or as if it was put there for the sake of being there. At the end of the day, I highly recommend this album for what it is, don't make the mistake of passing this album by because it doesn't sound like 'Tristese' or 'Tragedies', as it is still an extremely good album.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Yield To Me
2. Truly A Suffering
3. The Repentant
4. The Stings I Carry
5. When Light Will Dawn
6. In Fields Of Pestilent Grief
7. Facing Failure
8. What Could Have Been
9. Vile Are The Pains

Duration : Approx. 54 minutes

Visit the Funeral bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Scott Wickens
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