Funeralium - _Deceived Idealism_
(Weird Truth Productions, 2013)
by: Chaim Drishner (6.5 out of 10)
Six years after the band's excellent self-titled effort comes this double CD album, clocking at around an hour and a half worth of music. This represents a very different Funeralium than the unique entity it once had been when it almost exclusively (re-)invented, in 2007, the concept of 'torture doom'. They did so in the course of a single album (having been preceded by a demo), pulling the band out of sheer obscurity and into the household of any self-respecting extreme doom aficionado out there.

Shedding the band's unique lunatic sound, _Deceived Idealism_ is a middle of the road extreme doom effort that not only suffers from an identity crisis, being neither a doom/death recording nor a distinctive funeral doom product (somewhere in between? But what's between? Limbo?), but also somewhere in the process of making this very recording the whole of the band's own identity -- that has been undoubtedly unique -- has unfortunately been lost.

For an ultra underground act such as Funeralium, this release screams professionalism; no effort has been spared in producing this fine product, from the thick booklet and artistic black and white photos, through the excellent recording, to the length of the album itself having been split into a couple of CDs. These Frenchmen are angry, hateful and they would like you to know just how much they hate everything and everybody, reflecting their extreme animosity through the venomous texts and the music.

The only thing missing from the recording is the band's identity; a singular sonic fingerprint. The album is too okay to stir commotion and too tame to cause impact; arguably, _Deceived Idealism_ is almost traditionally approached, safely played, devoid of any surprises and whenever the listener thinks a rabbit is going to be pulled out of the magician's hat, no rabbit is spotted.

Orthodox in the musical execution of their version of doom-laden death metal played very, very slow (with some black metal innuendos thrown in, especially in the vocal department), exercising apocalyptic riffs (some of which sound pretty stoner-ish) and an abundance of intermissions (interludes) from the natural flow of the music, Funeralium's sophomore is non-dynamic (but not to the extent of Worship's _Terranean Wake_) and a bit hardcore-ish in nature, in that this technique brings to mind (as well as the guitar sound, the black metal versus doomcore screaming vocals and that larger-than-life approach to metal in general) Funeralium's country mates Overmars, whose 2007 _Born Again_ album -- a doomcore legend in its own right -- shares many qualities with _Deceived Idealism_.

In conclusion, I do not think _Deceived Idealism_ was worthy of a double album effort; the material is not that interesting or novel, and in addition, everything the band wanted to say could have easily been said on a single CD. Their manifesto is clear and easily comprehended.

_Deceived Idealism_ is an ambitious, if not pretentious effort with many technical qualities (the exterior, the production values), yet not something we haven't heard before. It could be this sophomore recording suffers from the second album 'curse', being overshadowed by an excellent and unique debut, bursting a bubble of expectation and letting everybody who might have thought this would be another _Funeralium_ down. It is definitely worth spinning for the album's sheer power and heaviness, as well as the phenomenal production and its occasional excellent song writing moments, but the redundancy of having a second CD with more or less the same material contained within the first CD cannot be ignored.

If you are interested in exploring the more extreme facets of doom metal in general and in hearing what this unique band has to say in that regard in particular, I'd strongly suggest you start with the band's demo and debut album. Leave _Deceived Idealism_ for another day, when all other options will have been exhausted.


(article published 12/5/2013)

10/3/2007 Q Kalis 8 Funeralium - Funeralium
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