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Funeral Whore – Stepped into Damnation

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Around since about 2006, Funeral Whore has continued their old school death metal crusade through various demo’s, a compilation and a split right up to this full length, released by the mexican Chaos Records.On their Myspace page, there’s a warning for people who like deathcore or polished, ultra-technical death metal, that Funeral Whore is no band for them. Well, they sure as hell aren’t lying. Straight from opener ‘Eternal Genocide’, Funeral Whore pound their way without mercy. The guitar sound reeks like an early 90’s Swedish death metal demo, with the drums relentlessly dictating the pace. If anyone would have told me this was an unreleased 1992 album by some Stockholm death metal band, I would have believed him (or her) right away. Fortunately, we don’t get bored with blind copying of Grave of Dismember. Through variation in pace, monotony is sent straight to the deepest tracts of hell. ‘Obidience’ for example contains rolling parts that somewhat remind me of the mighty early work of Bolt Thrower, and throughout the album Benediction comes to mind as well, every now and then. No problem with that. I would also like to mention the lead guitar work by Kellie. Instead of just cramping as many notes into her leads as possible, she opts for a more slow and atmospheric approach. Not wasting time on that self-indulging mumbo jumbo, her melancholic leads remind me of that old time hero Eric Daniels of Asphyx. If I have to name some points of critique: I would like some more variation in the vocals. Roy’s vocals have a nice gurgle, are good to follow, but for the rest, they don’t really do a lot for me. They stay safely in the lower regions, where sometimes you crave a little more screaming madness. Also, not all of the songs are equally memorable. It seems like sometimes they need a little more focus on writing actual songs, instead of just sticking riffs to one another. Having said this, these are only minor points of critique. I find myself banging my head along with the merciless brutality of Funeral Whore, and after the eleven songs, satisfaction is the feeling that dominates. I sure hope Funeral Whore will continue growing, and at the same time will not leave the bone ridden path of old school death metal. Favorites: the atmospheric title track, the oldie ‘The Bitch Died’ with the cool samples, and the sometimes Slayer-esque ‘El Salvador Death Squad’. (Stijn)