Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Funeral Orchestra - Slow Shalt be the Whole of the Law (2002)

Often referred to as being a "funeral doom" band, I couldn't disagree any more with that lazy attempt at categorization. Honestly, The Funeral Orchestra is truly in a league of their own, encompassing many various styles of doom including (and not limited to) funeral, stoner and even traditional, but believe me, pin pointing the band's exact style may very well prove to be a fruitless endeavor.

Lyrically, the band (for the most part) tread the same ground as their Swedish countrymen, Saturnalia Temple who, by the way, TFO bears more than a striking musical resemblance to, in no small part due to both bands employment of a more blackened, "witchy" style of vocal characterization.

The tempo throughout the duration of this album is, as the title so aptly states, sloooooooow. This shit is not for the ADHD generation, hellbent for blasts, blasts and more blasts. As is the case with any doom band worth their salt, the music of TFO is pure craftsmanship. Carefully and steadily constructed with everything flowing as it should and just the right amount of spontaneity thrown into the mix to stave away any of the clinically neutered vibes that have a tendency of creeping into albums that have been overwrought amidst the studio proceedings.

As previously mentioned, TFO do exude a "slight" stoner vibe, but believe me, this album is straight from the fucking pits of darkness! You will not find any praise of marijuana and bell bottom blue jeans or drive-in movie nostalgia on this bad boy. I guess, for my money alone, the stonerish nuances are more or less due to the fuzzy sound of the guitars. Of course, and again, the sound is not overwrought or overwhelming in any way and actually serves to further darken the mood with a sort of cloak of haziness.

As with most great doom bands, TFO are certainly in no rush as their last full length was released way back in '03! I did, however, recently see a post on the band's Facebook page indicating that they were indeed working on a follow up. Somehow, I'm not too worried as to whether or not TFO will stay true to the template they set with this phenomenal release. Doomed forever, forever doomed.


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