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Funereal Presence - Achatius

Funereal Presence
by Louise Brown at 12 March 2019, 5:20 AM

FUNEREAL PRESENCE is a one-man Black Metal band from the state of New York which formed in 2007. The band has released a self-titled EP in 2011 along with two albums so far; "The Archer Takes Aim" released in 2014 and 2019's "Achatius".

"Achatius" is an audio play of sorts. It takes you on a brief journey as the hero Achatius is made aware of the Devil then falls victim to the powers of darkness. It's an ambitious work which is unusual since it claims to return to the most basic roots of Black Metal. Since it has only four tracks I'll mention all of them.

"Wherein Achatius Is Awakened And Called Upon" has a melancholy intro featuring bagpipes along with few wind instruments. It is stark and stripped down, quickly establishing a bleak tone. Just when you are convinced it will be a Symphonic Black Metal song it changes and becomes a much more straightforward Black Metal composition centered around brutal guitar riffs, insanely fast-paced percussion and a heavy bass line. There is a great deal of underlying tension throughout the song which heightens the sense of anticipation as you listen and wait to figure out what will happen. It's a great song and a fine example of how epic Black Metal can be.

"Wherein A Messenger Of The Devil Appears" starts out much faster than the previous track. I especially appreciated the nice guitar riffs throughout the song's beginning as it led up to when the vocals began. The vocal performance itself is excellent as it strikes the right balance between rage and anguish along with a touch of the sinister thrown in for good measure. I enjoyed the track so much that I didn't even mind the spoken-word portions which I normally avoid at all costs because they annoy me. Even at over eleven minutes the song remains enjoyable and passes very quickly.

"Wherein Seven Celestial Beasts Are Revealed To Him" begins as a pretty acoustic track then quickly descends into chaos and noise; in a good way, of course. It's the most Black Metal-sounding song on the album. It is stripped down to the barest essentials, keeping it simple and wicked. It also features several melodic twists and turns which keep it compelling to the listener. That is no easy feat due to its play time of eleven minutes.

The final track on the album, "Wherein Achatius Is Flogged To The Hills Of Violation," is heavy and down-tuned to begin with. It establishes the dark and grim mood implied by the song's title very quickly. My only problem with the song was it lacked the ability to keep my interest for some reason. Some intangible "something" that the other three songs possessed simply wasn't as noticeable within this song. I tried to remain engaged, but my attention did wander as I listened to it. All the same, the song is not terrible and does have some great guitar solos within it as well as a solid vocal performance throughout. It's the longest song on the album at over thirteen minutes.

I thought "Achatius" was a good album. It isn't flashy or pretentious. It offers a more old-fashioned take on Black Metal which is sort of refreshing. I think fans of the genre should add it to their collections.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 8


4 Star Rating

  1. Wherein Achatius Is Awakened And Called Upon
  2. Wherein A Messenger Of The Devil Appears
  3. Wherein Seven Celestial Beasts Are Revealed To Him
  4. Wherein Achatius Is Flogged To The Hills Of Violation
Bestial Devotion - Vocals and music
Record Label: Sepulchral Voice Records


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Edited 05 June 2023

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