Funerus from Pennsylvania have been around since the early ninetees and the only thing that they have released so far was a proper demo in 1994. The band did some live shows with Rottrevore amongst others, but things never really worked out for Funerus. However, around 2002 things looked a lot brighter. Founder Brad Heiple (vocals/guitar) re-joined Jill McEntee again to form Funerus again. Jill´s husband, John McEntee (also founder of the mighty death metal institute Incantation) and Incantation drummer Kyle Severn joined Brad and Jill and the Funerus line up was complete again. With this line up they recorded “Festering Earth” in May 2003, which is now being released as a limited prerelease edition of 500 copies through Ibex Moon Records.
The music presented on “Festering Earth” is death metal that can only be played with the same conviction by people who have been into death metal for over a decade, and all members in Funerus seem to match that profile. Funerus is old school death metal in vein of filthy death metal acts such as Bolt Thrower, Grave, Autopsy, Asphyx, Rottrevore and countless other death metal bands from the late eighties and early ninetees. The music is mostly midpaced death metal with lots of doomy riffs. The guitar sound is really thick and has this old school ominous sound. The songs are rather simplistic, but as this release is all about going back to the basics, this simplicity is very much in place. The songs are recognizable and the guttural screams are low but understandable. The production is pretty raw, which adds to the overall dirty, low budget, old school death metal atmosphere this CD breathes and it captures the true death metal spirit.
When listening to Funerus I get the same feeling when listening to a Bolt Thrower record, it’s like a raging battletank. “Festering Earth” is very different from most death metal CDs released nowadays, where more and more the emphasis is put on speed, technical skills, and a clean production. It reminds me very much of the old days and the more I spin this record, the more it I like it. It´s raw, it`s brutal, it’s 100% death metal, the way we like it! Rating: 85/100 Dennis