Sorry to be rather incognito lately, but my other life has absorbed my focus of late. I even had to let a few shows go by due to other committments. I have been steadily completing my weekly column at About.com, however, and you can read my latest columns here, here, and here. One more column for 2011 will be published next Monday, and then I'll be taking about six weeks off ( I will be doing "best of the year" lists, though). I do hope, however, to get back to posting some astronomy and physics-related stuff, as a number of references seem to have popped up in metal, lately.
Here is a quick look at my take on Leviathan True Traitor, True Whore...
Chris Davison has also been very busy of late with committments that reside in academia, but he has has found time to crank out a couple of reviews. Here's his take on Reduced To Sludge from Funerus...
Funerus Reduced To Sludge
(Ibex Moon Records)
By: Chris Davison
"Not all old school death metal outfits hail from Sweden. Funerus have a longer pedigree than most of their peers, having demo releases dating way back to 1991, (no doubt, depressingly enough, way before many of our readers were even born), and features John McIntee (yes, that John McIntee) on guitars, his wife Jill on vocals and bass, and Mortician live drummer Sam Inzerra. It is fair to say, therefore, that the quality of Reduced to Sludge, coincidentally mastered and mixed by a certain Mr. Dan Swanö, is a cut above the rest. Not only in terms of overall quality, but also in terms of approach.
Unlike many other bands out there, Funerus aren't content to merely ape that all pervasive chainsaw-guitar sound pioneered by Entombed, sticking as they do with a more familiar, dare I say it, "American" guitar tone, while playing the kind of dirty, depraved riffs that nestle somewhere in between very old Death and Autopsy. Keeping the tempo around the mid-paced mark, and with more than a passing trip into slow territory, Funerus play to their strengths. Funerus create deliberately unpleasant hymns that bring to mind the glory days of early death metal when the conjuring of mental images was more important than the amount of poly-rhythms that could be knocked out by machine gun-like drummers.
John McIntee produces the goods with simple, but brutal, riffs, while wife Jill impresses with her vocals and deep bass work. With a low but decipherable growl, she manages to sound genuinely possessed, adding an air of creeping menace to the slower sections, which shuffle through the speakers as if they were genuinely made by the undead. Sam Inzerra does not disappoint on the kit either, with an accomplished performance that manages to produce the kind of tight ultra-technicality when required, but generally stays on the side of the atmospheric and original.
Quite a bit more messed up and rotten sounding than pretty much anyone else out there at the moment, save perhaps perennial filth-mongers Autopsy; there is a real niche in the market for honest, earnest and hard working bands in death metal such as Funerus.
This is it, kids. You can take your asymmetrical haircuts and Ph.D. in musical theory and take them next door. Me? I'm settling down for some anthems of detritus-infected musical/ biological warfare. Take it away, guys and dolls..."
Thanks, Chris! You can check out my look at the same album here.
Next (I gotta get to a show)...