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Review: Funeral for the Masses – Pitch Black EP

In early January the Finnish deathcore act Funeral for the Masses released a new EP entitled Pitch Black. Funeral for the Masses has been around for a few years and is still currently not signed to any labels, making every release self-produced and distributed. Pitch Black is an EP that isn’t afraid to step backwards in time and uses that as an advantage. Head over to their Facebook to show support!

Heading into Pitch Black you should expect killer vocals and drumming. The vocals can reach deep lows that accompany the lowly-tuned guitars perfectly. They give the music an overall gritty edge that would otherwise be less authentic sounding. The angry, avenging vocals make up most of the backbone to the low chugging. The vocals can always reach a scraping high range which also sounds evil and vengeful, like on “Blinded Eyes.” Right after saying how somebody betrayed him, he spits out a few lyrics in the higher range, scraping at the ears of the betrayer. Despite me saying scraping, it is in a positive light. If the higher range didn’t scrape and wasn’t gritty, they wouldn’t be enjoyable. The drummer has a wonderful habit of playing rapid snare hits even if the guitars aren’t tremolo-picking. I am always down to hear fast drumming.

In the intro I quickly mentioned that Pitch Black isn’t afraid to “step backwards in time.” What I mean is, Pitch Black carries and older deathcore/metalcore sound with it that still sounds new. When listening to “Pitch Black” I couldn’t help but think of older Carnifex, Bleeding Through to an extent, and Fit For an Autopsy’s Absolute Hope Absolute Hell. While I’m a fan of all of the above, Pitch Black puts in a modern sound to the EP as a whole that is missing from the others; a lot of that stems from the powerful vocals.

The breakdowns found on Pitch Black are heavy and insanely catchy. My favorite has to be the opening of “Delusions.” “Delusions” is one of the best songs on Pitch Black; partially due to the sick breakdowns and partially due to the sick vocals. This track also has a great structure. It starts off with a heavy breakdown, goes to heavy riffing, verses, breakdown, and ends on a really heavy note.

The ending track, “Fallen Idols,” is a great track to end on because that also features some of the better aspects of Pitch Black and utilizes the vocalist’s range better. It also opens with a good breakdown btw, peep that. “Fallen Idols” is a bit different from the other tracks as it seems a bit more minimalistic, if you will, and that is not bad. The simplistic riffing and lack thereof air out the massive vocals and crystal clear cymbals. This is a song that breathes deeply before jabbing you; it is executed well and manages to retain the more “classic” sound as well.

Putting the great parts of Pitch Black aside, I did find some parts to last too long. For example, the first two tracks, good listens as they are, just go on too long for what they do. Especially “F.F.T.M.” That one chuggy riff is played too long and it leads into a breakdown – more chugging. “F.F.T.M.” definitely would be more enjoyable if it did not overstay its welcome, because there is decent atmosphere, great vocals, and great drumming. Even with that said, I still enjoy both tracks enough to listen to them again.

Pitch Black is a good EP. Much respect to this and the many other bands who have the passion to record and produce their music independently. Support the band and pick this up. This EP definitely reminds me of FFAA, so if you loved their last release, you will love this EP.


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