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Funeral Throne - Threshold Award winner

Funeral Throne
Threshold
by Danny Sanderson at 06 November 2015, 3:54 PM

FUNERAL THRONE is one of the hidden gems of the UK Black Metal underground. For close to a decade, this Wolverhampton based four-piece have been producing some great Black Metal. 2014 saw the release of their second full length, "Threshold", an album that is probably their most impressive and well thought out release to date. Now, well over a year after its initial release, "Threshold" has been re-released through Blut & Eisen Productions, thankfully bringing it to a wider audience. It's an amazing album with a lot of great ideas that collectively create a strong, near flawless piece of music.

The albums opening gambit, "Resurrection", is a short, instrumental piece made up of dissonant guitar lines and pounding, rhythmic drums. It's a song that builds to a crescendo, setting the listener up nicely for the rest of the record. "Through Transforming Fire", the first full track on the record, is characterised by thick, tar-like guitar lines and some dark, visceral sounding vocals. Initially, this is a very mid-tempo track, but it quickly gets faster and more ferocious. There are also a few deep, sludgy bass lines that work really well on this track, when they come to prominence in the mix. Whereas the preceding track began at a relative crawl, "Victory" practically bursts to life in a blaze of Black Metal fury. It's a vicious, intense piece of music, with a few brief moments of melodicism amidst the icy, speed-driven guitars and the impressive drumming that make up the bulk of this song. It's a fairly straightforward Black Metal song, cloaked in atmosphere and aggression, and it sets the bar incredibly high for the next few songs. This leads seamlessly into "Hypnotic Coils", a song that has plenty of melodic flourishes in amongst its eerie cacophony. There's some great chanted vocal lines that are added to the mix, a feature that not only works really well, but also complements the acerbic, acidic rasp of the vocals perfectly. Cleaner guitar tones get utilised to great effect, acting as the eye of the storm that bridges the final moments of "Hypnotic Coils" with what comes next; the grim and brooding "Vessel". This tracks opening motif picks up the thread of the previous tracks closing moments, before launching into a slab of really fast, melodic and oppressive Black Metal. It's got a palpable atmospheric quality to it, which makes the music, made up of confidently played guitar lines and an excellent vocal performance, sound even better than it already is. This song has an almost Hard Rock edge to it, particularly when it comes to the guitar playing. It's easily one of the albums best tracks. This is a pretty catchy track, and it's certainly going to become one of the cornerstones of their set within the next few years. The second to last song on offer on this record is its most violent sounding one; "Novus Ortus" begins life as a wall of bestial noise, marked mostly by heavy, powerful guitar lines and punishing drums. It's a fairly fierce, intense way to bring this album to its climax. The final song on the record is split into two halves; "Gateway to Lucifer/Gateway to the Eye" primarily comes across a as a really solid, tight piece of heavy, chugging Black Metal. It's got some great hooks and imaginative vocals, with plenty of sweet, melodic trills thrown in for good measure. The closing part of the song is a much more mellow affair, with cleaner tones being used to make it sound darker. It's on this note that the album finally draws to a dramatic close.

This is the sort of album that could end up being a breakthrough record for the band. It's struck the right balance between the traditional Black Metal sound and their own unique, progressive touches. The song-writing and musical approach is really well thought out, and the resulting music flows smoothly, making this seem more like a vast, sprawling, interlinked epic than a collection of songs that are completely separate from each other. In short, it's nearly flawless.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Resurrection
2. Through Transforming Fire
3. Victory
4. Hypnotic Coils
5. Vessel
6. Novus Ortus
7. i) Gateway to Lucifer
    ii) Gateway to the Eye
Lineup:
A. - Drums
M. - Bass
B. - Guitars
S. - Vocals, Guitars
Record Label: Blut & Eisen Productions
     


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