FUNERAL — Tragedies (review)

FUNERAL — Tragedies album cover Album · 1995 · Funeral Doom Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Although 'Tristesse' was something more of a demo, I still think it's one of the most influential funeral doom metal releases. Now, there's 'Tragedies', a much more filling album than its 40 minute older brother. So, obviously, there's going to be some amount of expectations of this album. Five songs this time around; let us begin this melancholic journey.

The opener, "Taarene", starts off with acoustic guitars. Nothing out of the ordinary since the first album. After it ends and the funeral doom begins, we see the first major difference: female vocals. I definitely thought that Funeral had a gothic appeal in 'Tristesse' with the way they layered the clean and harsh vocals, but they just take it to the next level now. There are some harsh vocals in this album, but they take more of a secondary role. Looking at the instrumental aspect, Funeral have improved on their production slightly. With the melodic sounding guitars going along with the female vocals, the album is made more sorrowful sounding. We have a guitar solo around the six minute mark of this opening song, and I'm glad they didn't throw those away. I'm also pleased to see a break in the song with only acoustic guitar and the female vocals.

"Under Ebony Shades" begins with both the acoustic guitar and the female vocals. This time, the vocals are singing a bunch of "nah-nah-nah"s before returning to actual lyrics when the funeral doom begins. There are some harsh vocals here too; and at one interesting point, they're actually layered with the female vocals. All the correct elements in the first song are in this song too. Beautiful sad atmosphere, female vocals, and a nice guitar solo. I'm glad this one is in English though because the lyrics are so solemn yet effective:

"Emaciated by their faulter moves, they hide under the cloak of blasphemy. Desperately yearning for love, finding only misery Avount

Now I loath the presence of God, whom I had such trust in. Only to be abandoned, my hardest of times."

Anyway, next we have "Demise", a nice break from the songs exceeding twelve minutes in length; but it still is almost nine minutes long so keep your attention span from drifting.. Here, the harsh vocals are given a twisted and distorted effect to them at one point as if recorded backwards or something.

The only other thing special about the remaining tracks is the violin/cello/whatever played in "Moment In Black" to further increase the already high flow on the melancholy aspect. Otherwise, pretty much everything about the songs has been already been described by me.

This is quite the step above 'Tristesse' and yet another example of how Funeral are one of the most unique, yet under-appreciated funeral doom metal bands to exist. Their gothic flavor is a welcome way to further set them apart from their contemporaries. Yet, this may be their last funeral doom metal album as they would later go onto make some more clear cut gothic doom metal that is definitely impressive on its own. Nevertheless, 'Tragedies' is definitely a sad trip, but one you don't want to miss.
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