Band: Funeral Harvest
Album: Funeral Harvest
Label: Signal Rex
Genre: Black Metal
Country: Norway, Italy
Release Date: October 30, 2020
For Fans Of: Gorgoroth, Tsjuder, Urgehal
One of the most exciting things about being a metalhead is finding a new band that you love and telling every single person that you know about the band. Even better than discovering a band that has been around for awhile is finding a band that might just have a demo or two, maybe an EP, and really feeling like you have gotten your hands on something special, something that know one else knows about. Funeral Harvest is not a band I had ever heard of before, and because of this I made the decision to go into this review completely blind to everything except knowing that the band played black metal and that the album had a cool cover. While this has been a tactic that has let me down in the past (especially in my last few reviews), I am happy to say that it paid off in big ways this time around and I can’t get enough of this EP.
Funeral Harvest was formed in 2016 and has released one rehearsal demo and one single up to this point in their short career. The band features members from both Norway and Italy and the band creates music that reflects the True Norwegian Black Metal sound that rose to popularity in the 90’s, but with a unique sound that never comes off as derivative or dated. Funeral Harvest, is the self-titled, debut EP by the band, containing 4 tracks of pure and uncompromising black metal glory. Coming in at just under 20 minutes, Funeral Harvest have created a short, yet thoughtful, EP that rivals the quality of releases by some of the legends of the genre.
One of the biggest issues that people often cite when critiquing black metal is that it is repetitive. This is something that fans of the genre often find themselves defending. “It’s about the atmosphere”, is the usual sentiment in response to these claims, but the fact of the matter is that, more times than not these, black metal can be repetitive and uninventive. No matter how much I may love the genre, it has undoubtedly grown stale, with each band trying to be more “raw” than the last. Funeral Harvest, thankfully, have decided to go against this trend and create music that, while still raw in production, focuses on song structure and creating memorable music that stands out from the crowd. The band is not afraid to leave the blast beat and tremolo picking behind to create a passage that falls into, what can only be described as, a groove. The EP is equal parts atmosphere and aggression and Funeral Harvest never sacrifice one for the other. One of the biggest highlights on this release is the drumming. The drummer, who simply goes by the pseudonym Ond, can blast with the best of them, but is also producing some unique elements that you don’t often hear in this type of music. His ability to utilize fills, different drum patterns, and unique time signatures is reminiscent of some of black metal’s best drummers, such as Frost and Hellhammer.
There aren’t many negative critiques that I have about this one. Maybe the vocals are a little higher in the mix than I would like, but so what, this is great. This is easily some of the best black metal I have heard in 2020 and one of the best debuts I have heard in a long time. I have not been this excited about a new band in quite some time. With just 4 songs, Funeral Harvest have commanded my attention and created something of extremely high quality that will likely bring in fans from all over the world.
Rating: 8.5 / 10
- Nihil Sub Sole Novum
- Sacred Dagger
Total Playing Time: 19:53