Sunday, September 14, 2014

Review: Funereus - ......Return of the Old Goat

Funereus, originally from Mexico and now based out of California, initially began as a three-piece band back in 2008. Over the course of several Satan hailing releases that have consisted of a couple splits, an EP and a full-length, the group have found themselves as a duo; consisting of Sargatanaz on guitar and Valefar on drums and vocals. This transition happened sometime between their 2010 full-length, Profane Rite of Morbid Glorification, and their 2013 demo, An Offering to Satan. Their most recent release, ......Return of the Old Goat, has come in the form of a sophomore full-length and has been unleashed upon the world via Forever Plagued Records.

Genre: Raw Black Metal
Release Date: September 8th, 2014
  1. Unhallowed Tomb
  2. Prelude
  3. Funeral Ghoul
  4. Return of the Old Goat
  5. Below the Horns of Blasphemy
  6. Ascending the Throne (of Satan)
  7. Umbra Atrox
Total Playtime: 31 minutes, 44 seconds




Rating: 8.0/10





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Funereus, originally from Mexico and now based out of California, initially began as a three-piece band back in 2008. Over the course of several Satan hailing releases that have consisted of a couple splits, an EP and a full-length, the group have found themselves as a duo; consisting of Sargatanaz on guitar and Valefar on drums and vocals. This transition happened sometime between their 2010 full-length, Profane Rite of Morbid Glorification, and their 2013 demo, An Offering to Satan. Their most recent release, ......Return of the Old Goat, has come in the form of a sophomore full-length and has been unleashed upon the world via Forever Plagued Records.

Despite the fact that Funereus are a raw black metal band, the production on ......Return of the Old Goat isn't as grainy or analog as one would expect; though there are hints of static that scratch the content, most prominently within "Return of the Old Goat" and "Ascending the Throne (of Satan)". The tone of the album itself has a low treble quality, though not to the point where the drums find themselves wallowing in obnoxious high-pop snares or where the guitar is as abrasive as what one would hear in a Countess release. Instead, the title falls right in the middle of old and new, bringing with it an enjoyably sinister sound. Armed with subtle echoes, the vocals really reinforce the animalistic temperament of the content, especially with the vicious growls and sounds conveyed through "Prelude".

 The material is adorned with straightforward, virulent riffs that utilize a stable mixture of power chords and tremolos, as well as some diminished picking. Where tracks like "Unhallowed Tomb" and "Return of the Old Goat" have twangy, kick ass guitar rhythms in the style of Venom and Bathory, other songs such as "Below the Horns of Blasphemy" rely on tremolos to set a colder, more desolate mood. However, Funereus prove that they've got more than just a couple of tricks to offer with "Ascending the Throne (of Satan)" and "Umbra Atrox". These final two tracks take a detour from the barbaric speed soaked black metal to offer enticing slower paced dissonant segments embedded deeply into the compositions; complete with idle picking and light drumming.


As one will notice from the line-up of the band, there is no bassist. Since the guitar lacks a large amount of treble and plays mostly on higher chords and notes, this leaves a heavy reliance on the drums to provide any sort of backing depth. While the album doesn't have much beefiness to it, the drummer does exploit the tom-toms of his kit as much as possible, all the while massacring the bass drum with tight kicks. There are a few sick little sections scattered throughout the material that allow the element to show off its ritualistic nature, such as the brief solo of spacious, ambient triplets within "Below the Horns of Blasphemy". The drum hits also find themselves well timed and generally synced up with the strumming of the guitar.

......Return of the Old Goat is one of the more unique raw black metal albums. While it still carries a large influence from the early work of bands like Bathory, Venom, Hellhammer and Mayhem, it has its own distinctive infectiousness and personality. The overall composure of the album is fairly simple, foregoing any guitar solos or fancy pzazz and it just gets down to the nitty gritty cold, harsh riffs and blast beats that fans of this genre want to hear. Among the vocal snarls and satanic lyrical matter are completely demonic outbursts of the name "Satan" itself, laden in a haunting echo that further endorses the pitch black soundscape of the material. One of the best black metal albums of the year, Funereus are going to make you headbang until your brain bleeds with this release.

Digital Download Provided by: Forever Plagued Records

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