Album: For The Dearly Departed
Album Reviewer: Michael Mariscal
Metal is an extremely polarizing genre. If you can’t get on board with the volume and abrasion that goes hand in hand with screaming at the top of your lungs, you really just can’t listen to this genre. No other genre can eliminate so many people from their fanbase that simply and quickly.
For the most part, I’ve considered myself one of those eliminated. Though I was never opposed to the music as a whole (like many people I know), I was exposed to very little of it, and I didn’t love the bits and pieces I heard. The only metal band I appreciated was Dream Theatre, who utilized more progressive form of metal with soft acoustic sections to contrast their screaming and heavy guitars.
In their latest release For the Dearly Beloved, Funeral Portrait uses these same tools and more to create an E.P. with an almost orchestral variety in section and volume. With impressive instrumentation that ranges from bells and strings to crunchy loud guitars and a screaming singer the band bounces from section to section with a smoothness and cool that paradoxically keeps the energy constantly high and the listener always stimulated.
On their opening track Casanova, the band is a well-oiled machine. Heavy riffs are traded for piano chords in the blink of an eye. The band finds a good groove and instead of sticking with it for the whole song, throws five more at you.
But by the final track Wax Romantic, it starts feeling more like a pendulum, constantly swinging from heavy to soft, and a little tedious in doing so.
Still overall, the incredible dynamic contrast in the music is something to be praised. It creates a sort of drama that could even fit a musical (hey Green Day did one). And it makes this E.P. truly exhilarating. I give it a 3.5.