Review: “Funeral Manifesto” by My Funeral

Since their first album “Carnal Obduction” in 2010, Helsinki Finland based Thrash act My Funeral have been nothing short of prolific, hammering out two further full lengths in 2013’s “Thrash Destruction” and 2015’s “Violence Academy” and two EPs 2016’s “Harder Than This Life” and 2019’s “Graveblaster” before settling into something new. The culmination of three years work, “Funeral Manifesto” was recorded at Electric Fox Studios in Vaajakoski Finland with producer Tuomas Kokko (Baulta, Fimir, Swallow The Sun), a concept album that delves thematically deep into the mind – mental disorders, setbacks, but also victories in life. The quartet describe it as “a declaration from the dark side of man. Of how darkness takes over the very mind, and how self-destruction and addictions feed it. Other topics include hedonism, failure and one’s mortality. The album as a whole can be seen as a philosophy of darkness and acceptance of death“…

…Tearing at the brains with a need for trephination vocalist and bassist Ilkka Sepponen deliverers a scathingly destructive tale in “Primitive Evil” against a backdrop of Modern Thrash riffs and a vibrant solo. As an opening cut it does exactly what you want, stirring the senses despite the shroud of darkness that cloaks it like a thick fog before the band get you in a head lock and run head first into oncoming traffic with the rampaging 80’s Bay Area Thrash riffs of “Suicidal Thrash” which hark back to the golden era of the genre with a tip of the hat to Exodus. The lyrical narrative remains on the darker side, but this one is pure adrenaline fuelled fun with a nostalgic touch and the same can be said of follow up “Darkness Walks Beside Me” which has hints of Metallica influence while driving down the darkness with gang chant moments an razor sharp riffs giving it that classic punchy feel. The script is flipped for the slower, brooding atmospheric chugger “When Darkness Eats“, a pure cathartic vent of self loathing hatred from Sepponen. He bares his soul but the strange thing is it doesn’t feel like it belongs in the Nu- category, instead resonating with an honesty and integrity that some struggle to find. The kit performance of Tomi Louhesto helps provide a thunderous backdrop of this gloomy affair which has haunting edge, ending with the toll of the bell. Proving that guitarists Carlos Correa and Joonas Kiviniemi have more up their collective sleeves than just Thrash riffs, “Nirvana of Negative” gives us something with more bounce to it with dirge laden bass lines taking us into “The Burning Red” era Machine Head stylings for another heavy hitting moment of fierce self destruction.

Having the shorter cut sandwiched between two five minute brutes works incredibly well as the slower “Confession“, a literal journey to the Church confessional to ask forgiveness requires space to breathe. Another powerhouse cut with lyrics that make you pause for thought, it once again has that air of familiarity with “Black” era Metallica style riffage while having enough of a life of its own to hold the attention in captivating fashion. After exposing the sins the nightmares begin with “The Night Will Come” that has a sublime extended solo and some almost tribal drum fills to help dispose of the demons of the night that trouble the mind, working in dark and mysterious ways. If that wasn’t harrowing enough the blistering Speed Thrash “Twice Fallen Angel” dances on the graves of the fallen like the angel of death with sinister leads running like ice through the veins and another classy dirge laden bass line which is cleverly allowed to bleed out of the mix. The fretboard smoking solo is immense and captures the gloomy dark mood of the piece perfectly before the final onslaught leaves Sepponen sounding like he’s on the verge of collapse. After all the negative talk comes the clenched fist of “No Regrets” a classic about moving forward that echoes the sentiment of cuts like “I Will Be Heard” by Hatebreed while also having in its heart a classic whammy bar drop solo that simply needs to be heard. That leave “The Uprise“, a cut that sounds like a demo from the self titled Soulfly album to close things off with the kind of percussive battery that never ceases to impress. Louhesto sounds like Roy Mayorga at his finest while the swirling leads add a spine tingling atmosphere to finish a powerful statement piece of a record in style [7.5/10]

Track Listing

1. Primitive Evil
2. Suicidal Thrash
3. Darkness Walks Beside Me
4. When Darkness Eats
5. Nirvana of Negative
6. Confession
7. The Night Will Come
8. Twice Fallen Angel
9. No Regrets
10. The Uprise

Funeral Manifesto” by My Funeral is out 7th October 2022 via Inverse Records

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