FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND – Memory And Humanity

FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND - Memory And Humanity
  • 7/10
    FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND - Memory And Humanity - 7/10


Join Us / Roadrunner
Release date: October 13, 2008

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Funeral for a Friend is not a common guest on Metal pages. It is difficult to explain the reason, as a certain heaviness was always present in their sound, be it in their 2003 debut Casually Dressed And Deep In Conversation or their last album Tales Don’t Tell Themselves on which the Welsh quintet turned their back on Screamo and Indie and drove down Stadium Rock alley. It seems, commercially, to have been a bad idea, as they were dropped by their label, where they had started as being promised the next big thing. But in spite of three good albums failed to meet a major label’s expectations.

It may be that fact was a relief to the band. Instead of signing a new contract – provided they have been offered one, which would be expected as they may have sold too low for a major, but certainly well enough for an independent label – they founded their own publishing company. Yet in Europe, the album is distributed via Roadrunner, so independence of music business limitations seems to remain an illusion. Still, something must have happened, be it the line up change of a new bass player, Gavin Burrough, or the healing shock of commercial disappointment, the band has taken a turn back into heavier sounds, making it more than suited for a Metal page.

Yes, it is Screamo all over again. Davis’ voice has lost nothing in intensity and drives most tracks, while the instrumental section often just acts as background noise. Heavy guitar riffs are always there without being heavy in the real Heavy Metal sense, more in the direction that a guitar sound like this is rather rare in the Indie Rock and Emocore scene. Sure, a handful of riffs could be called metallic, and the power of the six string is the main ingredient with which the vocal melodies collide, but it is still far from being able to provide the daily riff diet for a Metalhead. But on top of the guitar, Funeral For A Friend have written over a dozen songs to excite with great sing-a-long melodies that would have done their 2007 output justice. From the start, the listener is cordially invited to shout and sing along, and while the lyrics are mostly anything but happy, the music stands in vast contrast to that. These are songs for the convertible in emotional minor.

The problem with the album is that all the above is true for almost every song. A mellower trio consisting of “Bleeding”, “Charlie Don’t Surf” and “Constant Resurrections” appearing in the second half of the album cannot change directions enough to contradict the impression that the album can be described as of one piece if you display a positive attitude, or mundane if you wish them harm. It all flows nicely and neatly, but that type of music has to do more than that, it should demand your attention instead of just passing you by nice and easy, and at times almost unnoticed. So while several songs deserve a much higher score, overall Memory and Humanity is only good, but by no means a great effort.

There is enough for a Metal fan here to invest a few minutes on the band’s website and on their MySpace site where you can listen to “Beneath The Burning Tree” and “Waterfront Dance Club” from this album. The latter is also their single, so if you like that one, there is a good chance this is a recommendation for you!


  • Frank Jaeger

    Frank was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Bavaria, Germany. He has worked in the games industry for more than 20 years, now on the manufacturing side, before on the publishing end. Before this, he edited and handled the layout for a city mag in northern Germany ... maybe that is why he love being part of anything published. Frank got hooked on Metal at the age of 14 when a friend introduced him to AC/DC. They were listening to The Beatles, Madness, and The Police, and he decided they should move on. Well, they did, Back in Black became Frank's first Metal album, and since Germany is reasonably close to England, they had some small New Waves Of British Heavy Metal washing up on their shores: Tygers Of Pan Tang, Samson, Gillan, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Sweet Savage, Diamond Head, etc. If he had to pick his favorite styles, Prog and Power Metal would be at the top of the list.

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