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Funeral Pyre, The: December

December is the new EP from California's The Funeral Pyre, the band now back on Creator-Destructor Records for this one after releasing their second CD Wounds on Prosthetic back in 2008, though they are still on that label. Here, the band delivers five tracks and roughly 26 minutes of tortured, epic, US styled black metal. Opening cut "Into the Soil" starts things up with plenty of tremolo picked riffs and blast beats, very indicative of the genre, and John Strachan's demonic wailing providing the savagery. The clever use of melodic riffs though keeps the song at an almost symphonic level. "To Walk, To Maintain" is non-stop brutality, Al Hernandez' drums blasting away amidst furious riffing and ungodly growls, a pace that continues on the Dark Funeral inspired ferocity that is "The Ocean Floor". Though there's some brief moments of respite on both 'Frail and Dying" and "The last Breath of Man" (the latter does dive into some doom & death metal), the formula is pretty much the same, and that's one of the things that prevents December from being a complete success. Though there's plenty of solid US black metal here, some of these tracks are practically interchangeable, and follow too similar a pattern to each other, making it hard to distinguish one from the next. Still, if you like raging black metal that has lots of references to the originators of the genre, you'll find this a pleasing listen.

Track Listing
1) Into the Soil
2) To Walk, To Maintain
3) The Ocean Floor
4) Frail and Dying
5) The Last Breath of Man

Added: March 25th 2009
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band's MySpace Page
Hits: 1934
Language: english

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