Shadow Kingdom Records (Nov 2013)
Classic Doom Metal band name? Check. Classic Doom Metal artwork? Yup. Classic Doom Metal song titles and lyrics? Absolutely. Classic Doom Metal production in which the vocals are slightly too loud? Another thumbs up. So is this a classic Doom Metal album??? As you know, we’re not the kind of people to get carried away, but HELL YES, THIS IS THE SEXIEST EPIC DOOM METAL ALBUM WE’VE HEARD FOR AGES!
We approached this Vancouver-based band’s self-titled debut with healthy caution, having read somewhere that the vocals were not up to the job. Well, whoever wrote that steaming heap of donkey cack needs to invest in some better speakers, or perhaps some better ears! Because while the vocals of ‘Adrian M’ are prominent in the mix, it is far from being a problem because his voice has great range, depth and character, reminiscent of some legendary doom frontmen but with a flamboyantly gloomy edge of its own.
In any case, the razor-sharp guitars are given plenty of opportunity to shine. And when guitarist ‘Pilgrim’ lets rip, it truly is something to behold! Some of the solos on here are so epic you want to strip naked, light some black candles and pour the hot wax all over your – no, wait, we’re getting overexcited again. Suffice to say, the guitar work is creative and deeply enjoyable.
This album is highly recommended to fans of Solitude Aeturnus, Count Raven, Candlemass… and in fact, it’s recommended to anyone who loves well-written, superbly delivered epic metal that is packed with drama and feeling. Each song is tight and purposeful, and it is clear that the band has been together for a number of years. ‘Funeral Circle’ is the kind of accomplished full-length release that you might expect from a band someway down its career path. But these guys are just at the start… God knows how good they can get in the future.
It’s not a perfect album; the bass and drums are rather anonymous and there seems to be a timing issue halfway through ‘The Charnel God’. But it’s not far off. ‘Funeral Circle’ has once again renewed our faith in the fundamental truths of Doom Metal – you do not need gimmicks or glamour, just great songs, great musicians and a passion for creating a glorious, epic atmosphere. So yes, this counts as an instant classic in our eyes.
Buy it immediately at least once, right here: http://shadowkingdomrecords.bandcamp.com/album/funeral-circle