Hailing from British Columbia, Canada, doom act Funeral Circle formed back in 2006 and here we are seven years later for the unleashing of their debut self-titled album on Shadow Kingdom Records. The band is comprised of Adrian M. (Vocals), M "Pilgrim" B. (Guitars), M.K. (Bass), S. M. (Guitars), and P. F. (Drums), which is pretty vague, but allows you to concentrate on the bands music more than who they actually are. If you love epic styled doom metal, you've certainly come to the right place. Crushing, thunderous riffs, explosive lead solos, pounding rhythms, and operatic vocals make up the formula here, and while not far removed from Candlemass or Solitude Aeternus, Funeral Circle are no copycats. Lengthy tunes littered with not only dirge laden riffs but also punctuated by the occasional folk guitar passages make for an enticing listen. I mean, some of these riffs are monstrous, as on "Corpus of Dark Sorcery" and "Scion of Infinity", and the overall production of the album is just superb, with each instrument coming through crystal clear in the mix. "Black Colossus" and "The Charnel God" are both really heavy, and "Obelisk" is a bleak, chilling slice of epic doom with all sorts of twists and turns.
As much as I like this album, I'm not quite yet sold on the vocals of Adrian. Yes, his mid range operatic wail is suited to this style of doom, and truth be told he has a good voice, but I was kind of hoping he'd mix things up a bit more than he does. A few more upper register screams, perhaps even a couple growls in spots, might have been the difference maker for me and added some variety to his delivery. Otherwise though, this is a fine doom release and a band I'll be keeping my eyes on for sure.
1. Scion of Infinity
2. Amaranthine (The Wandering Dreamer)
3. Corpus of Dark Sorcery
4. Tempus Edax Rerum
5. The Charnel God
6. Black Colossus