|Let me just get this out of the way. 'Apocalyptic Trance Ritual' is nothing short of amazing. With it, The Funeral Orchestra has undoubtedly put themselves up there with the greats of doom. The style of The Funeral Orchestra has, despite the deceiving band name, nothing to do with orchestral sounds and keyboards and whatever, this is just an orchestra of guitars creating a dense, monotonous wall of sound, backed with tribal/ritualistic drums that pound on and on in the background, adding that extra thick edge to the sound that is The Funeral Orchestra.|
Perhaps one of my favourite aspects of the sound of this band are the 'vocals', which are nothing short of sickening. They sound like a gutteral gurgling of words, sort of like Thergothon but not that deep. Every word is audible, and I like it. It just adds an extra unique flavour to this release, which as a whole is bloody good. The music, aside from being a monotonous wall of sound, which would put them squarely in the drone doom genre, contains breaks of clean guitars thrown into the drone, which reminds me once again of Thergothon, who as we all know, were a landmark band, and for good reason too. So this comparison, whilst maybe not being so obvious at first is quite a compliment, though The Funeral Orchestra definitely sound unique, creating a very different form of funeral doom, possibly only comparable to Funeral, in terms of overall sound due to the lack of keyboards and the drowning atmosphere, although they don't sound as depressing as Funeral.
Furthermore, it should be noted that the closing track 'Black Orbit' is nothing like the opening tracks. It is instead a very short dark ambient outro, which is okay, but I honestly think that they should stick to the sound of the former two tracks. In fact, the more I listen to 'We Are The End', the more it seems to be an ugly mix of sludge and funeral doom, considering the vocals, which wouldn't sound out of place in an Eyehategod album, and the tone of the guitars, which sound quite ugly with that trademark sustained feedback/noise that is found in sludge bands, which really does land The Funeral Orchestra in a league of their own.
Judging from the quality of this release and the first track in particular, I am honestly waiting with baited breath to get my hands on their next release, which coincidently features 'Apocalyptic Trance Ritual'. The one downfall of this entire album would definitely be in its length, which at a mere 20 minutes leaves me wanting more.
1. Apocalyptic Trance Ritual
2. We Are The End
3. Black Orbit
Duration : Approx. 22 minutes
Visit the The Funeral Orchestra bandpage.