Man oh man am I having a hard time thinking of what to say about the newest release from Los Angeles’ THE FUNERAL PYRE. Maybe it’s because my tastes have gotten less extreme, taking a really special Extreme Metal release to perk my ears much. Or maybe it’s simply because the tunes on “The Nature Of Betrayal” are not only unoriginal, but also unmemorable. Hell, maybe it’s a combo of the two. Regardless of what it is, before making all the way through the first song on the band’s first release for Prosthetic Records, boredom sets in…or something.
“The Nature Of Betrayal” is a caustic, abrasive mix of melodic Black Metal (melodies, vocals and moody keyboards), Death Metal (drumming, in particular) and melodic Death Metal (the melodies…again, and solos). While many artists on the Prosthetic roster lean towards the ‘core side of Metal, THE FUNERAL PYRE stay well away from it, opting instead to tread the path set forth by NAGLFAR, with occasional DISSECTION and DIMMU BORGIR-isms. Which is why my inability to get into “The Nature Of Betrayal” makes no sense, as I dig all three of those bands. Only one track, “Stealing The Air Of Life”, stuck out to these ears, as THE FUNERAL PYRE slow things down and take a more dreary turn for all but the blasting bridge section.
There are only two possible conclusions I can draw about “The Nature Of Betrayal”: Either the songwriting is truly weak and forgettable, or I simply don’t get it. I feel like I should like the album, I really do, but no matter how many times I hear it, it just doesn’t click. Production wise, the sound is excellent, and the musicianship is quality…so those are perks, but nothing here moves me. Give THE FUNERAL PYRE a listen if you’re a fan of any of the above bands, and hopefully you’ll find more to like with “The Nature Of Betrayal” than I.
(Online May 30, 2007)