Funeral Chant’s Dawn Of Annihilation has many of the hallmarks of a particular niche in the death/black metal underground which, while not enormously virulent, has certainly seen its fair share of proponents emerge, particularly through the Sepulchral Voice and Invictus labels over the last decade or two. Funeral Chant are probably for you if you own a bullet belt, enjoy fake blood, wish it was still the eighties (even though you were likely not even conceived), and own at least two different pressings of Warfare Noise or multiple Necrovore bootlegs.
Unfortunately, as with many proponents of this form of Satanic ultra-thrash, the emphasis on velocity and violence – while impressive in its own way, given the sheer sense of urgency to the delivery – does not come with either memorable riffing or, crucially, any of the increasingly elusive feeling of genuine darkness that death and black metal should have at its core. It’s visceral music, an adrenaline surge more akin to watching a street fight than a black mass.
To some, the speed and aggression is entirely what this kind of music is about and if those are your requirements, you’ll find much to enjoy in the mindless rampage contained here. Arguably the lack of invention or individuality is cause for concern. Are they paying tribute to the past with sincerity, attention to detail, and vigour? Certainly. Are they doing anything as well as, or better than their influences? No. They aren’t.
[Funeral Chant] capture a particular sound very well and the conviction is evident….
And perhaps that’s the real measure of this record, and the many like it seeping out of the underground. The potential for timelessness is simply not there. Why would you reach for this over Pleasure To Kill? Perhaps it’s unfair to judge it against an old, bar setting classic, but even put up against some of their peers, it lacks the absolute insanity of, say, Omegavortex or Concrete Winds, dispensing a frenzy that’s perhaps more controlled than you might expect.
Dawn Of Annihilation is not a bad record objectively, it’s just a forgettable one, with only Pernicious Rites or Lucifuge Domain lingering briefly in the memory after multiple listens. They capture a particular sound very well and the conviction is evident. It’s the work of die-hards playing to other die-hards, a case study symbiotic relationship based on musical fanaticism. Militantly old school, proudly traditionalist and precisely because of this it’s deeply generic, which is strange for music that’s so over the top on paper and is clearly a labour of love for those making it.
Dawn Of Annihilation is like a bag of chips after a night on the piss – messy and enjoyable, hits the spot at the time, but not something you want to base your regular diet on.
Scribed by: Jamie Grimes