FUNEBRIA Embraces the Shadows on Death of the Last Sun

            The last flicker of a dying light is snuffed with the return of this Blackened Death entity from Columbia. It’s been six years since the release of Dekatherion: Ten Years of Hate & Pride, and now FUNEBRIA emerges with their third shadowy manifestation titled Death of the Last Sun. This new offering unleashes the raw fury of previous outputs while further honing the darker aspects of their craft. Arcane undertones creep through as FUNEBRIA conjures malevolent energies that overshadow our putrid existence, and Death of the Last Sun expresses apocalyptic intent along with the dreadful and infernal essence of the underworld.

            A foreboding introduction comes with the cryptic emanations of “AIN” before a direct assault of blast beats and raw tremolo riffing on “Ominous Armageddon.” Desolation is produced by this rugged sound as death growls echo its ruinous effects, and the gloom intensifies with a break leading to the arpeggiations of a sinister groove. Another transition follows with melodies that build toward a wailing solo, and seething despair rages on through riffs that evoke bleakness before fading into “Upheaval and Decadence.” Heavy progressions and drum fills burst into tremolos melodies and blasting that relents for the combined intricacies of muted riffs and cymbal taps. It moves into brooding territory with eerie clinging notes that develop into a dissonant mass after more riffing fury, and this malignancy continues on “Bleeding Sacrament” while merging with blackened riffs and blast beats. A visceral tremolo melody surfaces as the riff progresses toward a frenzy of pummeling heaviness, followed by a tremolo murkiness that enhances the overarching atmosphere.

            “Ethereal Form of Saints” shows a melodic groove and then drops into utter despair with vocals paralleling the depressive anguish. A menacing force builds as blackened riffing continues, and a dreary hook expands into melodies that lead to “Dawn of Black Inericon.” Striking riffs precede the imposing misery conveyed through tremolo melodies, and a melancholic splendor manifests as they progress with alternations of discordant chugging riffs. A dismal end approaches with the brooding arpeggiated notes on “Black Waters Caesar,” and they permeate the track as layers of vehement riffs carry this tone with sporadic bursts of speed picking. This develops into driving melodies and blast beats while doom is continuously foreshadowed by the lurking arpeggiations. The mysteries are briefly glimpsed in eerie breaks with ritualistic chants, and a conclusive blast of extremity ensues before passing into the abysmal notes of finality.

            Various shades of darkness weaved through infernal imagery are related in lyrics beginning with emptiness and futility on “Ominous Armageddon.” It describes the creative force behind a manifestation declaring “I complete the existence, but what I see is blackness,” and ultimately “it all ends in our extinction.” Other apocalyptic visions appear with the “toxic venomous, rising seas” that lead to the “World’s greatest downfall” on “Black Waters Caesar.” Disease and decay are rampant, with portrayals such as “My sickened and leprous flesh” on “Dawn of Black Inericon,” which also searches for “the massive crucifixion of gods.” These blasphemous topics recur with god being force-fed crosses on “Upheaval and Decadence,” and a condemnation of saints described as “false shapes of power” on “Ethereal Form of Saints.” Spectral imagery continues while venturing into the abyss on “Bleeding Sacrament” with “Lead the dragged ones to the void, pour ye fears into my underworld,” and a description of “Anaemia conceived in astral womb.” These lyrics all maintain an obscurity that’s consistent with the shadowy netherworld along with allusions to eternal power and existence.

            FUNEBRIA have delivered a strong effort for 2021 with Death of the Last Sun. It directs the chaotic fury of their style into a work that seems more focused, and there are many compositional textures along with energetic expressions of anguish, despair, and raging ferocity. The rough production gives the sound an organic quality that enhances the overall atmosphere while the songwriting possesses an expansion of their blackened influence. Death of the Last Sun is a welcome addition to the Black/Death Metal pantheon, and its tenebrous depths will easily appeal to those who explore the infernal underground realms of Metal.

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