REVIEWS IN BRIEF: RECENT RELEASES ON PROSTHETIC RECORDS FROM WITHERED, THE FUNERAL PYRE, AND BOOK OF BLACK EARTH
It’s should be no secret that this year has been jam packed with great extreme metal records, but what has really stood out for me in my recent listening is that for one reason or another the stars have aligned over the label Prosthetic Records. 2008 has seen their output of three new releases from recently signed, young bands. Besides having a label in common and touring together, all three of them have put out highly accomplished albums which we can only hope they’ll build a career on.
The Funeral Pyre is a Californian quintet who specializes in a moody mixture of melodic death metal sheen with depressive black metal dirge. Their most recent album, Wounds, is a mournful masterpiece sans the keyboards of their last two albums but with some layered and very melodic guitar work. They manage to sound incredibly heavy while keeping a patient tempo and I recommended them to anyone who likes some emotional investment in their metal. Keep those endorphins handy and well supplied!
Book of Black Earth are my personal favorite of this bunch and their October release, Horoskopus, might very well end up on my personal year end top 10 list. This is some refreshingly untypical death metal. While the application is simpler, even slower than your average death-heads, very few manage to be this bad-ass. Some serious detuned riffage, peppered with subtle keyboard work and a dose of evil. Horoskopus is a concept album about the origins of modern religions in astrological myths, so if metal is your preferred religion then this shouldn’t be a disappointment.
If you haven’t heard of Withered yet then you’re no friend of mine. Probably the most unique slant on extreme metal I’ve heard recently. Not quite blackened death, more like deathened black, but even that’s not an adequate description. Their sound is a familiarly metal one but their song structures are unique; changing up moods, tempos and usually building to a climax before the end. Their latest release, Folie Circulaire, is pretty spectacular and that’s all I got to say about that.
While I’m sure all of Prosthetic’s staff is probably whipped up about that Gojira record they released, too, there’s no need for you to stop listening there. Check out the myspace links for some fresh and heavy shit: