Album Review: Funerus – Reduced to Sludge

Funerus [USA]
Reduced to Sludge
Full Length
Ibex Moon Records
Death Metal

Listening to the soundtrack to the movie After Party Massacre certainly opened my eyes to new bands to look out for, with all the top-notch bands present on the release such as Denial Fiend and Feral, besides the already legendary Incantation. Funerus was one of the bands that managed to catch my attention as well with their filthy style of death metal, and knowing that they were to release their second full length album, Reduced to Sludge this year left me in keen anticipation.

With a shift in duties within the band and a change in line up, fans of the band now see Incantation frontman and mastermind John McEntee joining his wife Jill on vocals, on top of his guitar duties. There is also the inclusion of Sam on drums, completing the current line up of Funerus. The experience and the connection between the band members is immediately felt right from the opening track, Behind the Door, seeing the band slowly build up the climax before unleashing it all upon the listener relentlessly. Unlike the dark and suffocating atmosphere that Incantation is known for, what Funerus presents to listener is a somewhat heavier version of death metal in the veins of bands such as Netherland’s Hail of Bullets. The vocal styles of John is a far cry from what he presents to fans familiar with his work in Incantation, leaning more towards a low-pitched howl, reminiscent of Hail of Bullets‘ Martin Van Drunen. Even the riffing and drumming remind the listener somewhat of the aforementioned band, with the tone of the individual instruments and the at-times intentional sloppy drumming of Sam.

There is also a certain sense of urgency and intensity involved in the execution of the songs, and the band makes use of the heavy hitting on the drums and the highly distorted guitars to create an impact so great that it makes it almost hard to breathe. There is however, a noted lack of guitar solos on the album, with the focus being on the riffs and the drumming, but no complaints here as the listener fails to take the notice of the absence of such moments with the amount of activity going on throughout. Bassist Jill also makes her presence felt, with moments such on Bedpan Commando given to her to release all the wrath contained within. The band also constantly alternates between fast, furious moments and slower, intense moments, as evident on tracks like the title track Reduced to Sludge. The short run times of the songs mean that the band only has a limited amount of time to leave an impact and an impression, and suffice to say, they have more than met the mark.

The music on Reduced to Sludge are as dirty and filthy as one can get in old school death metal, and listening to the album, it definitely proves that the 8 years since 2003’s Festering Earth was well-worth the wait. As the album title promises, the aural lambasting provided by this trio shows them doing what they do best, and will certainly reduce the listener to nothing more but sludge.

Related articles:
Album Review: Various Artists – Afterparty Massacre Soundtrack

Funerus on the internet:
Official website
Ibex Moon Records

©2011 Heavy Metal Tribune | Hong Rui

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