May the fuzz be with you… Funeral For Two are a Finnish act that did surprise me enormously last year with their debut-EP. Due to circumstances, I did not have the time or energy to write a review on that material. Maybe I will, in the future. Yet it does deal with intriguing stuff for sure!...
With II, indeed referring to a second release, this project offers two new songs, created by Mikke (vocals and guitars) and Jetro (bass guitars), assisted by Pete on drums and Jiri as studio wizard. Both tracks clock over ten minutes each, making this EP a twenty+ experience. Yet seen the variation and progression, both tracks do not sound long-stretched and boring at all, despite their length.
Anyway, this duo (with additional support) created / and released / two overwhelming tracks under the sober II-moniker. A title that might not reveal a lot; a release that explains a lot then again. II consists, as mentioned before, of two ‘songs’, each of them clocking ten or eleven minutes. Despite their length, still the cohesive and coherent approach remains remarkable, as if the band did sort of translate the likes of Saint Vitus, Trouble or Black Sabbath, or why not, Hellhammer or the more recently activated act Monolord, in all their glory, to the 21st century, and back again to the glorious past. Sonic time-traveling, wouldn’t it be a fabulous adventure / experiment / invention?
Anyway, in the very same vein of the former material, the tracks on II are a combination of slow-paced and sludgy riffs, down-earthed bass-lines, mesmerizing leads, militant drum patterns and almost evocative and mournful lead voices. But more important is the variety in concept and construction. Even-though the whole thing is totally sluggish in execution, more than once well-used things show up: fuzzy guitar-solos, changes in tempo and structure, the addition of subtle yet specific moments of sludgy, gazing or epic grandeur, a couple of semi-harmonious chants, and even some introvert intermezzo with acoustic guitars (on La Muerte); it’s just a reference to the modest yet, at the same time, huge experience called II.
To strengthen this kind of stuff in a persuasive way, the production is of importance. When talking about Funeral For Two’s newest effort, that sound puts an enormous smile on my (pretty) face). Damn it sounds droning, dirty, sleazy, rough and unpolished. But hey, this material ask, no sorry, it begs for a rusty approach. Imagine that this material was finished with a clinical production – sorry, no, I can’t (and I won’t) think about it. Seriously, the roughness of the guitar riffs, for example, adds such grandiose sphere of timeless yet uncompromising finesse. But above all, the mix still takes care of a fine equilibrium of all voices / instruments involved. Bass-lines, guitar leads and rhythm sections, lead and backing vocals, and drums and percussions; everything has its own role to play, and all get the place / space / trance to show their importance.
Tracks: The Curse Of Lord (11:02) and La Muerte (10:10).