FUNERARY OOZE! A fine name for a band, but there’s two going on here. It’s called a split, and it was released a while ago on DIY label Midnite Collective in order to let us all know about two up-and-coming sludge and doom bands that might just shake the very seeds out of our pockets. Read: up-and-coming bands that will deliver us from all the cookie clutter the stoner mags got wobbling around in their promo vaults right now. “Influenced by Sleep and Sabbath with a touch of the Wizard.” Ha!
Last year, Funerary released a solemn-sounding full length of doom called Starless Aeon, and the duo on display sound like the sludge songs that got left out. The dual attack of Ascent and Descent illustrates an intent to grow out of the bonds of normal rock and roll. There are surprising tempo changes, slowed down drops, and manic blackened sludge vocals that seem to hit the sweet spots just a bit better than the usual Deathwish vocalist does. But Funerary has more. They are a band used to playing with each other. As a whole, they occupy a dark space in between that of a current Meth Drinker and an old school Winter, with extra helpings of sickly sounding leads. Indeed, Funerary knows how to Doom – their half has a ‘live’ feel, rhythms staying tight but straying far from those killers of all groove, clicktracks. Describing themselves as funeral doom, they nevertheless seem to wield a doomy-sounding sludge paradigm on this album. They evoke images of some of sludge’s best bands (Meth Drinkin’ Moments, we call ‘em in the house) and the nervous, scab-picking, withdrawal-induced paranoia trip that any good sludge album should be.
Ooze plays its sludge cards closer to the ribcage. Favoring familiar blues structures, thrash breaks and Iron Monkey-build ups, Ooze tends to sound a tad run-of-the-mill. The band does deliver on heaviness, though: the sound is heavy, the riffs hard and the Iommi-twitch (that wowowowowowoooo that he does before strumming the entire chord, incidentally perfected by our Lord Tim Bagshaw) gets a superb build-up toward the sludge-worshipping end of Satanachia’s Will. The meandering Necrotopya, meanwhile, builds up its circular rhythms with slowly strummed chords (yes, you’ve heard this before) before going off on some genuinely nasty chaotic moments. The execution of those moments, however, could use an ear, less used to the metal that was extreme ten to twenty years ago. Dave Lombardo ride patterns have already been played, guys. Oh, and fuck clicktracks.
Now, everyone knows that if you paint one monkey red and the other one blue, they’re not gonna play for the same team the rest of their lives. Frankly, that’s because they’re monkeys. Not because polarizing debate is a good thing. My point: I pick favorites, and this time it’s Funerary. They’ve won. Bigger groove, better dynamics, better production. Doesn’t say much about the absolute quality of Ooze, though. In fact, I’d highly encourage both bands to keep on growing. Though Funerary pulls off what Ooze is getting ready for, Ooze only just got started. When you’re heading for the grave, you don’t blame the hearse: Funerary literally and figuratively leads the way on this split, yet I am anxious to hear what the next Oozed record will bring to fans of darkness and our brooding, ever-prowling ears.
Scribed by: Jochem Visser