Funereal Presence – The Archer Takes Aim (The Ajna Offensive)

Thursday, 29th May 2014
Rating: 7.5/10

Funereal Presence – how that name sends chills up the spine! A four song arrangement seems to be this band’s preferred method in compiling an album because The Archer Takes Aim is their second release and, like the demo EP, there are four tracks. All things considered, a few viscous pieces are all Funereal Presence need to make a solid enough full-length album. These tunes are like poetic spells and demonic invocations, and The Archer Takes Aim is like the concise spell-book containing them. The warlock responsible for this wicked item, taking on vocals and all instruments on his own, identifies as Bestial Devotion.

The album in its entirety is mesmerizing, the way atmospheric depressive black metal is supposed to be, with just enough repetition and distortion to send your senses spinning. “Gestalt des Endes” is a dense 16:55 minutes that immerses attentive and meditative listeners into a supernatural atmosphere filled with dark forces and evil auras. A few times over, Bestial Devotion breaks from his husky, devilish vocals to sing the morbid melody in German. The vibrato in his accent is exotic and inexplicable, as much as it’s probably a nonexistent accent, but that doesn’t matter. What really matters is it’s the sound of mysteriously raw black metal, and this solitary metaller has a natural gift for dabbling in that. We know the cryptic conjuration of “Gestalt des Endes” is complete when the last line of lyrics passes by: “and the Devil’s breath whispers through the trees.” From there, we fly off into a gnarly guitar solo spiced with a few guttural howls and a firestorm of drums. Soothed by the deep-pitched resonance of a wind instrument (baritone saxophone perhaps?), all diminishes into silence.

Tall, dark, mysterious, that’s all anyone wants, right? Grey is the color of this music, gruesome is the tone, and grim is the mood. Merely glancing at the cover art (with a skeleton angel holding a bow and arrow) can give one the urge to scratch and pry at its funereal fortress. Bury thyself in the gravely macabre work of Funereal Presence, The Archer Takes Aim.

Funereal Presence on The Ajna Offensive