The Death of the Funeral Rain Press Corps

November 7th, 2012

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is not with a heavy heart that I, General Blaspheme of the Funeral Rain Press Corps announce the death of this site. Indeed, I am tremendously happy that I have finally gone and killed this damn beast with an arrow, quick and painless.

But lo! From the ashes of the funeral pyre rises the Phoenix, and upon its head is the crown of the dead Dragon, Viserys.

If you truly enjoyed the things we did here at the FRPC, please join us at Crown of Viserys, where we will still be writing about all the metals that make us hard, with less crap and what we hope to be an easier viewing experience.

CROWN OF VISERYS

Germ – Loss EP

October 13th, 2012

Genre: Atmospheric, Black Metal, Rock, Pop
Label: Eisenwald

This is going to sound horrible right off the bat but please, just give it a few seconds to sink in; What if someone took the might and savagery out of Thrall, replaced it with something resembling a metallic version of Coldplay and managed to keep the wicked black metal edge to most of it? If any of you are left after that (including you, Tim), the answer is easily one of the most unique musical experiences I’ve had since starting the reviewing game all of those years ago!

There is a metric TON of genre melding going on within these six tracks. Everything from relatively simple, yet catchy hard rock riffs to clean vocals and synthy pop keys to banshee wailing and back again can be heard in right here in this EP. It might be a tad overwhelming or just considered aimless to some folks, but I found it to be morbidly captivating. I kept finding myself thinking the same thing over and over again, “This shouldn’t be.” Meaning, these musical elements should never of been mixed! Germ’s sole member… (get ready for it) Germ, is toying with the very essence of what makes popular music popular and metal music that which must live underground! He’s taking those irrefutable elements and making them his own personal soundboard, not to mention, taking a gigantic risk with the possibility of alienating his audiences… and I absolutely LOVE that.

If there was one thing that I had to gripe about, it’s the oldie but goodie “length” complaint. This EP was too damned short! How dare you tease me with such a brilliant yet stingy offering! Damn you Germ!

Overall: Taking a risk on Loss is nowhere near the risk that was taken to bring it to you! Loss is a one of a kind outing that will leave you wondering what the future holds for Germ, metal and music as a whole.

9.5/10

Germ On Facebookable
Germ On Soundcloud 

-  Typhon

Nebrus – From The Black Ashes

October 1st, 2012

Genre: Black Metal
Label: Schattenkult Produktionen

And the Black Metal Gods (I’m sure there are at least two of them) have smiled upon my sorry ass once again!  I literally jumped for joy when I received this album in the mail and rushed straight home to throw it in my stereo. Long time readers may remember the dripping hard-ons that General Blaspheme and I have for this band. If you don’t and/or my vulgar appreciation for Nebrus is completely new to you, then all you really need to do is listen to just one song and you’ll understand where I’m coming from (and you’ll probably need a new change of underwear as well).

From The Black Ashes starts off strong with “Apocalypse”, a blistering ride through the beginning of the end. They tease you a bit with a break in the bleak with a momentary slow down in tempo that almost feels like everything is going to be okay. Like the world isn’t going to end in this horrible fashion that they’re describing… and suddenly, the sting of reaper’s scythe finds it’s mark on your soul! An awesome way to START your album, if you ask me.

From there, Nebrus just takes your expectations and runs off with them by taking all the vileness of black metal and merging it the finer points of doom metal. It’s like if you took Under The Sign Of The Black Mark and Epicus Doomicus Metallicus, broke them both in half and glued the two halves together to make the greatest mixture of black metal and doom metal that any metal mind ever dreamed of… assuming the breaking/gluing process was successful.

I’m happy to report that Noctuaria’s voice is just as ravaged and raw as ever, which keeps her high on my Favorite Black Metal Vocalist list right between Stefan Fiori and Lord Serpent. This time however, Mortifero duties pertained only to the drums, which are every bit as punishing as they were in Twilight Of Humanity. It’s the same with the guitars. Throughout From The Black Ashes, they are almost always sped up to your standard black metal speed riffs, but occasionally they break off into dreary doom hooks that are always laid in on just the right moments.

But the crowning jewel of From The Black Ashes has to be it’s closing track, “Banquet Of Oblivion”. Hearing Noctuaria scream, “I DON’T EXIST!” would start to weaken even the most galvanized of iron wills. An absolute perfect ending to easily one of the top three albums I’ve heard in 2012. No lie.

Overall: Nebrus, oh my sweet Nebrus… once again, your macabre form of blackened doom has come to lay waste to my other musical tastes. One listen to From The Black Ashes and you’ll get snagged on one of it’s many hooks! Even if black/doom isn’t your forte, you’ll find something about Nebrus’s new offering to enjoy. And if you can, track down one of the 66 copies of Nebrus’s EP, Twilight Of Humanity.

10/10

Nebrus Official
Nebrus On Facebook 

-  Typhon

Ensiferum – Unsung Heroes

September 19th, 2012

Genre: Folk Metal
Label: Spinefarm Records

It may come as a shock to many readers (all three of you) but, I have never actually gotten into Ensiferum. And if buzz is any indication, I should of gotten into them YEARS ago. But alas, my metal knowledge is not as vast as it should be, according to the Blabbermouth.net message boards… dicks. At any rate, Ensiferum are a long standing Finnish folk metal band with, I’ve come to find out, very loyal fans. Well kiddos, I already pissed you off on those forums so I don’t see a problem repeating the process here and now.

Ensiferum’s folksy nature was appealing to me almost instantly. The opening track, “Symbols” is a whimsical intro that sets up a mood of magic, might and epic tales to come… and when “In My Sword I Trust” gets going, that mood is inescapable! Driving bass kicks and operatic/gang backing vocals help create a soundscape that’s ready to accept your offering of blood and steel! But to be honest, it kind of took me by surprise when the harsh vocals started up and this guy pretty much sounded like Randy Blythe… no thanks. I try to keep bands like Lamb Of God as far away from my thoughts when I listen to folk metal, so thanks for messing that up for me!

Unfortunately, the epic mood that “In My Sword I Trust” starts, the next track, “Unsung Heroes” brings to a grinding halt. Sans a catchy hook, there really isn’t anything about this song that I can praise. The same goes with most of the remainder of the album (except for any time the guitars go acoustic). ”Celestial Bond”, however is a pleasant surprise among the yawn educing, b-side dumping ground that is the rest of Unsung Heroes; a Celtic inspired serenade with stunning female vocals. More of this would be appreciated.

Overall: I’m left pretty confused as to the rabid fan defensiveness. I guess I should probably take a closer look at Ensiferum’s previous efforts before judging them completely though…  And as much as I ragged on this album, I should probably say that Unsung Heroes isn’t a bad album. Just bland. Hopelessly, terribly bland.

6/10

Ensiferum Official
Ensiferum On Facebook 

-  Typhon

Aura Noir – Out To Die (Review)

July 24th, 2012

Aura Noir - Out To Die

Genre: Blackened Thrash
Label: Indie Recordings
Format: Digital Stream (Earsplit PR)

One band that I’ve known about forever but have never checked out is Aura Noir, and I’m now kicking myself in the ass for not checking them sooner. It’s no wonder why they come up a lot when it comes to talks about black metal meeting thrash. These guys make a perfect example of the genre.
Parts of this remind me of a version of Metallica with actual balls. Parts remind me of Venom worship. And parts even remind me of Darkthrone’s The Cult Is Alive album. Granted, it’s not like Aura Noir are legitimate friends with Darkthrone or anything.
There isn’t really much to say. Fast, faster, and fastest riffs fill this album from front to back, and a disgusting necrotic stench emanates from every vocal. Solos are ear piercing and finger breaking, drums are deep with some snare click and fast, and the bass compliments rather than takes any form of front seat. This is fucking awesome!
If you want your thrash punked up with a nice coat of blackened grave dirt, this album is for you.
8 out of 10.

Out To Die Tracklisting:
1. Trenches
2. Fed to the Flames
3. Abbadon
4. The Grin from the Gallows
5. Withheld
6. Priest’s Hellish Fiend
7. Deathwish
8. Out To Die

Out To Die Personnel:
Aggressor – Vocals/Guitar
Apollyon – Vocals/Bass/Drums
Blasphemer – Guitar

Aura Noir Official.
Aura Noir on Facebook.