|4.2 (1 votes):|
Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t help but think that recent doom/death metal of decent quality has been mostly defined by the grittier kind of bands of this style. While I generally prefer the more weepy side of this style, it’s better than nothing at all, right? Besides, as far as I know Hooded Menace isn’t releasing anything this year and Runemagick has lost their touch, so a new band inspired by these should certainly be welcome. Indeed, Funeral Leech certainly doesn’t bring anything new to the table – instead they rely on tools several earlier bands had used before… but why let that bother you when they do it rather well?
Upon hearing those momentous lead opening of “Downpour” it’s clear where Funeral Leech take their most obvious inspiration from – Bolt Thrower. Following up, a series of ravaging riffs reveal themselves through groove and fury – the track just doesn’t let go until it’s almost over. This certainly sounds familiar, as plenty of bands such as Runemagick, Temple of Void and many more have unsurprisingly stuck to this kind of riffing, yet Death Meditation doesn’t necessarily worship one another. Once the hovering chants appear it becomes clear there’s more to this band than just demolishing Bolt Thrower esque riffs; the result isn’t quite an overwhelming haunting presence as that of Transcendence into the Peripheral by Disembowelment, but it shows the band has more to offer than just oppressive riffing.
Like most great doom/death metal bands, Funeral Leech has studied the arts of this style carefully and it becomes quickly clear they concern themselves with physical brute force than anything else. While this often works out well, I do think the band could have expanded more on the haunting chant segments that appear here and there. They work when they support a lead here and there, but aren’t quite as effective when there’s not much to cover (see “The Burden of Flesh” for instance, that starts and ends off poorly because of this issue). Having that said, Funeral Leech seems to be more if a riff-centered band so perhaps this shouldn’t be all that surprising. Generally speaking Death Meditation is rather consistent though and there’s also more variety to note than one might notice at first. ”Lament” starts off with a creepy riff covered in filth, not unlike that of Last One on Earth by Asphyx and “I Am the Cosmos” owes as much to that of pre-progressive death metal era Venenum to that of Bolt Thrower; resulting into an atmospheric slab of blackened death metal madness.
The vocals are appropriate for this stuff; deep and gruff, yet not completely incoherent and the guitar leads, while minimal, do what is required. If anything, I’d like to see Funeral Leech improve themselves when it comes down to the lesser intense riffing segments that Death Meditation possesses and I’m sure the band could come up with something even more effective then. Nonetheless those who like doom/death metal for its action more so than its drama should have a good time here.
Release date: April 17th, 2020
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