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Funereal Presence - The Archer Takes Aim

Funereal Presence
The Archer Takes Aim
by H.P. Buttcraft at 09 May 2014, 9:00 AM

Black metal fans, are you feeling unsettled and ashamed to enjoy BURZUM? Is Varg Vikernes’ far-right wing political beliefs complicate your enjoyment of his album?

Are you sick and tired of burnt churches?

Well, friends, your day has finally come. FUNEREAL PRESENCE, although they may not seem like it on the surface, is actually one-man band project from New York State who only goes by the name Bestial Devotion. The music of FUNEREAL PRESENCE is extremely similar to BURZUM, both in the overall composition of their songs but also in the aspect that one musician performed every instrument.

I won’t say that “The Archer Takes Aim” is anywhere close to as good as records like “Filosofem” or “Hvis lyset tar oss”, this album was much more enjoyable and entertaining than every album Varg released after he got out of prison put together.

The vocals are the most interesting touches provided by Bestial Devotion. He provides the expected screams and hisses you can expect with crypt-dwelling Black Metal like this. But for good parts of songs like the album’s title track and “Gestalt des Endes”, the vocals go off into a strange part-Egyptian, part- Gyspy wails and vibrato chants. Despite being from New York, FUNEREAL PRESENCE borrows a lot of their sounds for this album from Norse, Balkan and Mediterranean music.

The church organs and the echoes of the shredding guitar add a very Transylvanian atmosphere to the music. The guitars definitely have that hypnotic layering effect going on in the instrumental track “Dämmerlicht” like the kind you can hear on a BURZUM album. They almost have a Surf Rock inspired sound setup for these guitars. This album oddly enough sounds better coming out of low-grade speakers. I can’t help but think of early MAYHEM, DISSECTION and DARKTHRONE albums when I hear some of these songs.

This album should be a no-brainer to BURZUM fans except I would be surprised is Bestial Devotion was a murderer himself. FUNEREAL PRESENCE is a great derivative off of a sound that has been made taboo by the musicians that established its roots.

4 Star Rating

1. The Tower Falls
2. The Archer Takes Aim
3. Dämmerlicht
4. Gestalt des Endes
Bestial Devotion – All Instruments, Vocals
Record Label: Sepulchral Voices Records


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Edited 27 March 2023

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