Friday, October 14, 2011

1000 Funerals: Butterfly Decadence (2011)


Since Iran is in the news, I thought it would be a good time to talk about 1000 Funerals. It takes a lot of balls to play metal in Iran, a country that's not exactly noted for tolerating freedom or Western ways. You can get in trouble just for having a haircut that's too Western, so I'm not sure what playing funeral doom will get you.

But 1000 Funerals dare it anyway. They play a style of funeral doom with a full wall of sound, complementing the slow crush of drums and guitars with a range of synthesizer sounds (including strings and piano). The vocals are extended, deep growls in the two actual funeral doom tracks, whispers on a synth-based track, and a female monologue on another synth track. Two other tracks are instrumental (including the highly memorable Shape of Despair cover that closes out the album).

The atmosphere is morose. I felt compelled to look at the lyrics to try to figure out their religious stance (I still can't make one out for certain), and found material that seems in line with the longing-for-a-lost-love of My Dying Bride. That seems suitable for the mood and sounds.

This is very high-quality funeral doom, which can be tough to find sometimes in a genre where many try to fake it. My only complaint is that there are really only two original funeral doom cuts on the album.

The Verdict: If for no other reason than to support metal from a country where it's hard, you should pick this one up. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

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