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Fvnerals - The Light

The Light
by Andrew Sifari at 30 April 2015, 10:25 PM

From the country that arguably birthed Metal music, as we know it today, Brighton, England group, FVNERALS, arrive with a debut record as dark and depressing as their name would suggest, titled “The Light.”

Where traditional funeral Doom lumbers and writhes with an emphasis on monstrous tones and grating, distorted guitars, the entirety of “The Light” floats on the edges of existence with a stripped-down sound that calls to mind the quiet main verse of “Black Sabbath” by BLACK SABBATH, except even more low-key. Indeed, the clean guitars are like a specter slinking through the dense ambient fog with a subtle, yet identifiable gloom. Accompanied by vocalist Tiffany’s distant, echoing vocals, a distinctly haunting vibe permeates every minute of this tastefully dark release.

From the opening, ringing chords of “Oath”, FVNERALS brings the listener to a place of unease that is at once very real but still somewhat intangible, more a state of mind than something of physical substance. The occasional growl of distorted guitar can be heard from time to time, but a somber piano that follows the guitar lines is a much more prominent mood instrument here, as can be heard in the airy mystery of “Vakna”. Despair is a very prominent theme throughout “The Light”, but it’s not simply depressing for the sake of being depressing. The latter half of the aforementioned track is a good example of this, with a smoky, mystifying vibe that is still pretty glum, but definitely less so than earlier in the song.

Shine” is another interesting track, with a title that is appropriate and yet contradictory at the same time. There is a strange, shimmering quality to the music that glows in a cold, moonlight-y kind of way, one that is somewhat illuminating yet still shrouded by the dark. This approach is expanded upon during the album’s eponymous, two-part closing suite, the first of which is comprised of a long, atmospheric humming and a cascade of sparse, disorienting sounds before transitioning to a more “proper” song form in the vein of those that preceded it.

In an artistic sense, it’s hard not to appreciate the craftsmanship and sheer visceral value of “The Light”, but listening to the album straight through would likely be difficult for those expecting any sort of pick up in momentum. That doesn’t mean it’s not a good record. It is often captivating and memorable in its own way, but its nuanced sound isn’t likely engaging enough to draw in, say, the average Thrash or Death Metal fan for more than a few minutes. All in all, “The Light” is a well-executed effort that will definitely stand out to fans of decidedly melancholy music.

3 Star Rating

3. Aryd
4. Shine
5. Tiga
6. Closer
7. The Light (Part I)
8. The Light (Part II)
Tiffany - Vocals, Synths
Syd - Guitars, Songwriting
Antoine - Drums
Record Label: Eerie Echoes


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