Friday, September 22, 2017

Blues Funeral - Awakening

Blues Funeral sure didn't rest on their laurels after releasing their fantastic debut, 'The Search' back in July 2016. Move forward one year and their sophomore album, 'Awakening' has seen the light of day and I am thrilled beyond words because what they created on the debut has been moved to a whole new level. Call it natural progression, or whatever you want, Blues Funeral is one of those bands you need in your life. Why? Well, read on and I’ll tell you.

Few bands can make a good smooth transition between the debut and the follow-up. Most times either albums aren’t bad but they are either too similar or too far apart. This is not a problem whatsoever for these Texans. Not only have they stepped up from their excellent debut, they have moved past it. None of the previous characteristics are gone, on the contrary. Instead they are infused with more prowess and fantastic compositional skills. Best of all though, the guys seem to have had a blast creating ‘Awakening’, and that alone is worth so much.

Going full tillt on opener ‘Shadow Of The Snake’ it is heavy on the Hammond. Hints of Deep Purple and Uriah Heep with Yngwie appearing in the guitar solos. Love it, wave riders! This bring back memories to the stuff I grew up on and man, Blues Funeral crushes! Next up is the title track, ‘Awakening’ and it is big on riffs, harmonies and melody. The twin-axe attack and solos are amazing where the fantastic rhythm section gives those parts so much room to breathe, which in turn elevates it to grander things. ‘ Illusions Of Reality’ is probably my favourite song on ‘Awakening’ – which is a bold statement since all songs are outstanding. However, this one brings in NWOBHM in the shape of Tygers Of PanTang with a touch of blues here and there. Won’t get much better than that, you hear?!
On ‘Firedrake’ Blues Funeral walk down a different path. Doomy in the vein of Candlemass meets Jex Thoth with Jon Lord or Ken Hensley on the Hammond. Kelly Cousins Adams provides the vocals and what can I say? Fantastic, absolutely fantastic. ‘Casimir’ is Yngwie racing with Al Di Meola on the Spanish Highway with Messiah Marcolin singing. I’m blown away, there’s no other way to put it! ‘The Gathering Dust’ ends this amazing recording and continues the Candlemass influences. The duels, harmonizing and solos between Jan and Maurice are so refreshing and downright brilliant. As they take center-stage, Gabe and Cory leads the song through all it’s emotions on bass guitar and drums respectively.

Bands, new and old alike, take inspirations from this Texas quartet. Why? Well, the way Blues Funeral has moved from album one to album numero dos is how you do it. Blend your own ideas with the influences you have and have fun doing it. Don’t be afraid to step out of the box because the end result will amaze you. Blue Funeral has technical excellence in all departments which they rightly use, however, they don’t over-do anything. Call it brilliance within modesty…or whatever, what I mean is they never over-indulge in anything. Dear waveriders, if you love heavy rock, metal et al Blues Funeral is for you and then some. Doesn’t get much better than this, so get your hands on this one, as well as their debut ‘The Search’.

*Band pic courtesy of Grooverock Photography*


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