Funeral – In Fields Of Pestilent Grief

After having dealt with the re-release of the only album recorded by Fallen, we are going to deal with another re-release of a band led by Norwegian drummer and composer Anders Eek, namely Funeral and, specifically, their second full length In Fields Of Pestilent Grief. As I had the chance to write on the occasion of the review of their last album, the use of a moniker so characterizing can be misleading, especially when the funeral doom component is not the main one among those that go to flow into the sound. Having said that, the album that we are going to examine is definitely of good quality, even if the constant use of a female voice, even if beautiful as Hanne Hukkelberg’s one, in my opinion ends up giving an excessive gothic aura to sounds that, instead, would seem to have the typical stylistic features of a leaden doom as in the declaration of intent. Considering that the most recent version of Funeral has never convinced me much, as the band has moved too much from its roots to a good but not exceptional gothic doom, this album shows instead a remarkable propensity for dramatic and melodic scores, even if sweetened by the voice of Hanne Hukkelberg. I wouldn’t be honest if I hid my relative liking for female voices of a certain type, impeccable maybe from the formal and executive point of view but cloying in the long run, and in this regard this release offers an element to support this personal thesis, such as the double version of When Light Will Dawn in which in the demo version the use of the male voice turns out to be definitely more effective; the same, on the other hand, cannot be said for the similar operation performed with The Stings I Carry, due to a too approximate interpretation. Ultimately, as far as I’m concerned, listening to this record does not change one iota my opinion on the actual value of a band like Funeral (net, let’s be clear, of the mourning within the band to which Eek had to cope), author of a sound certainly appreciable but that does not justify the peana of most of the insiders, both in the initial phase of his career (see the album in question) and in the most recent one definitely oriented towards gothic sounds not essential.

2001 – Nocturnal Music 2015 – Solitude Productions