Friday, October 31, 2014

Funeral Bloom: "Petals"

Texas is becoming the new France. France was once constantly knocking out innovative new metal and now it looks like the Lone Star state is threatening to take that crown away. This Austin band reminds you of when  black gaze almost became a thing. That didn't happen as shoe gaze went on to once more  find it's own way with out the metal trappings This  band is still holding the flame that only Deafheaven really carries now that Alcest has gone the way of elf rock. Their more black metal side is looser in their attack than Deafheaven, they go into more post-punk like clean vocals at times, rather than being limited to just the harsh vocals.

"Black Shoes" opens the album with a steady post- rock beat , shimmery guitar and samples setting the mood before they launch in a seizure of blast beats. The harsh vocals are the kind of nonsensical snarl that you can't imagine actually meaning anything. The lower spoken clean vocals come in fairly early at the three minute mark of this 11 minute expansive journey of a song. The harsh vocals form more of a chant in the back ground against them. The vocals here aren't really sung, but provide and interesting if not odd counterpoint. The strength seem to be the way they smoothly transition from one passage to the next after the initial launch into the black metal which is more of an abrasive switch.

The bass is audible in this album which is a plus when it comes to black metal, though despite what labels you might read associated with the band it's no where near the kind of drive that would make this post-punk. Most songs wander a broad expanse more common with post rock."Cherry Orchard" doesn't find it's blast of black metal until three minutes in. The songs lull you in until they explode in this very temper tantrum like state of black metal countered by some beautiful passages, that help set them apart from all the other Deafheaven imitators. They might be even more convincing in the post- rock sections than they are in the black metal parts, as they seem more natural. The drumming more sure of it's self and the guitars have a better sense of melody at that pace.

 The lower post-punk vocals sing more at the end of "Cherry Orchard" and they also hold a similar Death In June like timber when the song "Lust" takes a darker turn."Lust" starts off a tranquil and minimalist as you might want your post rock, a few samples murmuring over it like a babbling brook, all is well as it builds ...until the five minute mark when it gets pounded home. The harsh vocals work best here and this is probably the album's strongest track.There is a cool break down that does actually touch on more of a post punk thing. The heavier elements are well accented instead of the more spastic thing that happens at the onset of "Naked".

 The incoherent howls clash against the trickling guitar. The drums take a swing at anything in the song that moves and the bass disappears , when it could have been the glue. That is just in the first two minutes, before the calm down and take deep breaths to pull it together. The drums excel in a section where they compliment the return to creepiness and they fall back to be tensely hesitant. The bass comes more to the forefront here as well, but you can't help but wonder if it was up in your face how much more powerfully it could carry the song.The final three minutes even hits a section that reminds me of newer screamo bands before they metal it up.

This one gets a 9 for now and we will see how it grows on me. Far from perfect in the execution of all elements in play here, but there are so many that it breezes by you. This is evident as this is one of those albums I can just leave on like the majority of Autumn For Crippled Children's catalog.  

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