Rose Funeral – Gates of Punishment
Tags: Andrew Kapper > band > Beyond the Entombed > black dahlia murder > cincinnati group > death metal bands > grotesque impalement > metal > Metal Blade > metal blade records > Punishment > rhythm guitarist > Rose Funeral > The Gates of Punishment > Uno > whilst
One of the best things that can happen to an avid music fan is when a group you had originally written off as being nothing special brings out something that really catches you by surprise. Probably best known in the metal world for the ?Uno incident?, Rose Funeral aren?t as bad as many keyboard warriors would love you to think – yes their last two records haven?t been outstanding, but with a big line up change things have started to look up for Cincinnati group.
Having rhythm guitarist and now vocalist Ryan Gardner taking over the reins of the band, Rose Funeral?s third album ?Gates of Punishment? has certainly seen a bit of a shift sonically, with a symphonic vibe to a lot of the tracks really bringing a wealth of depth to the band?s sound, while the more melodic yet aggressive riffs puts them into the same category of pure modern death metal bands like Carnifex.
After the moody intro track ?Legions of Ruination?, the first two proper tracks ?Grotesque Indulgence? and ?Beyond the Entombed? are simply the best songs Rose Funeral have ever written, with skin ripping guitar work fusing together with Gardner?s almost strictly guttural vocal attack. ?Grotesque Indulgence? roars along at a furious pace and packs a mother of a breakdown, while ?Beyond the Entombed? utilises a strong orchestral backing and is a sure fire hit in the live setting. While one overzealous blogger might have dubbed the previewed tracks as ?Black Dahlia Murder with breakdowns?, the statement may not be too far from the truth, with ?Arise Infernal Existence? showing off hints of the aforementioned Michigan five-piece with the awesome, ear-catching riffs and a cracking solo from new member Kevin Snook, whilst the tracks serves up both a slamming and bouncing beatdown. ?False Divine? packs a well executed tempo shift early into the track and decent cameo from former Morbid Angel frontman Steve Tucker, while the track ends with some creepy keyboards and ominous orchestra passages,
It?s not all a bed of roses though, as ?Gates of Punishment? possesses a couple of minor flaws. The first weak spot the album features is the band?s overuse of breakdowns – whether it?s an attempted to appease their older fans or not, probably close to half of the breakdowns on the record seems shoehorned into the songs. Some other small nit-picking is that it isn?t the most original sounding album released by any means, and it will simply take you more than a couple of listens to truly immerse yourself into the record, as a lot of the tracks carry the same formula. At the tail end of the LP, ?The Desolate Form? and ?Entercism? are other blast beat driven tunes, whilst the album closing title track deceptively leads the listener into a seemingly track ending classical overture before launching back into another thirty seconds of insanity.
?Gates of Punishment? is a big step in the right direction from a band that a big part of the death metal community had written off, but most importantly, Rose Funeral have simply created an unrelenting album full of neck-destroying, brutal tunes.
Label: Metal Blade Records
By Andrew Kapper