Funereal Presence - Achatius CD


The second offering from Funereal Presence swung off the vine onto my desk the other day: ‘Achatius’, released early this year. It is truly one of more unique releases that I have come across in recent years. It revels in a primitivism of decades gone by, namely the older school of black metal, calling to us from a pre-Darkthrone age. The production as well is so authentically retro that it feels like some long lost treasure of the past that has only recently come to light. The vintage thrash riffs thatare worked throughout these lengthy four tracks, the neoclassical class to the classic heavy metal lead work, and the snarling animalism of the vocal style, all reek of a much played out old school revivalism. But herein lies the paradox at the heart of ‘Achatius’. This is one of the most forward looking extreme metal releases of the year.

I would call it progressive, but – undeniable musicianship aside – there is an accessible playfulness to the riffcraft. A simple, almost catchy riff, will form the bedrock of a track. Which is usually played out through tricks of major key and its interplay with atonality, lending the music an odd feeling of optimism. These off-kilter riffs are then contrasted with some very unorthodox lead work.