FUNEBRE - Children of the Scorn (SPINEFARM - LP 1991)
Finnish death metal… Yes, back in the old days this country had as many killer bands as Sweden or Holland! I am not even gonna bother to name my top three favourite releases from there, as it’s just damn impossible – there are so many! But Funebre would surely be on the podium! They were among the first death metal bands in Finland (formed in 1988!) and released couple of earth shaking and damn brutal demos. And these demos are cool, but not even half as killer as “Children of the Scorn”, which is the debut LP! Oh yeah… this album is just sweet!
And so damn diverse, as I think almost every song brings something different and generally Funebre was like a combination of few Finnish death metal bands plus they also had some traces of the Swedish death metal, like Afflicted, what gave the music not only more atmospheric touch, but the harmonies made it more easy to listen to and more memorable. For sure Funebre was not as brutal as some other Finnish acts like Disgrace, Demilich or Purtenance, not to mention the sick grinding of Xysma. But they were having a lot in common with bands like Demigod, Adramelech, Convulse… So, there were quite many quite technical riffs, many broken rhythms, some weird stuff (not as weird as Lubricant luckily!). Maybe I am far from calling their music as very complex, but such songs as “Walls that Held Screams” or “Sinners’ Eve” had that multifaceted touch to it. Funebre was surely not a band, which liked simple stuff, so even within a single song you could find a lot of diversity and as a whole the albums covers fast death metal, slow death metal, technical stuff, as well as melodic bits… almost everything. I should probably mention songs like “Shiver”, “Slumber End” and “Blood on White” – and believe me, each is different from the other. The music sounds savage, aggressive, sick, but still quite memorable. Hardly ever it’s extremely fast, although such “Slumber End”, which I already mentioned, has some such parts. But I also mentioned “Blood on White” and this is among my true favourites on the LP. It begins with nice, melodic, doomy piece and later transforms into crazy riff, which is breaking the rhythms almost like Afflicted haha… The mid part is again slower, with a harmonic leads giving it a nice atmosphere and yeah – the whole sounds a lot like Swedish death metal! Some other songs also have those melodic accents and definitely they make Funebre songs more interesting. But generally this band had a great gift to come up with killer riffs and arrangements. I truly fuckin love their style of playing and to be honest, there’re maybe just a couple of fragments, which I like least, but the rest just slays ruthlessly. And even when the band performs some more technical and complex parts, with broken rhythms and riffs, like in “Shiver” (where are also some blasts, doomy riffs, nice leads… just everything is there, so diverse is this track!), it still sounds damn good. And somewhere in between that sick death metal ferocity you’ll find “Spirits Bewail” – a soft, melancholic acoustic theme, which sounds almost odd and out of place, but have its place as an intro in between two of the most ravaging tracks.
If there’s anything that I would really want to change to this album, then it would be the guitar sound. It’s not bad, but it’s just so fuckin thin and not brutal enough. Especially when the first song begins, I’m always like “damn, what a buzz”! Also in some faster tunes like “Redemeed from Time” it gets so noisy, instead of just being fuckin crusher. I can get used to it after a while, but it’s just not quite right. I don’t know if the remastered version from the CD/LP re-release sounds better, but that’s not even something I am interesting, as I hate to hear classic albums, which have changed sound. And also there’s one more thing I would change – I just hate the way “Waiting for Arrival” begins, straight to the vocal lines. It just sounds like someone cut some parts from this song haha!
Oh, on the final comment I must also say that it’s just pity that the lyrics for this album were never published. I would really love to read them. Also, I’ve seen the artwork of the CD/LP reissue of this album and even though it’s different, it’s really cool also, as it’s done to look similar to the original (no idea why they could not use the original artwork anyway?!). But if you ever have a chance to buy the original LP from Spinefarm, do not hesitate. I don’t think it’s extremely expensive, at least not as much as some other Finnish death metal classics. And it’s just better to have the first press. All in all, definitely “Children of the Scorn” is among my favourite death metal LPs from Finland, if not in my top three, then surely just behind. Totally recommended.
Standout tracks: oh, too many to mention again
Final rate: 90/100