Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Blues Funeral - The Search (Album Review)


Release date: July 30th 2016. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD

The Search – Tracklisting

Autumn Dream
Harbinger
Planet Void
Paragon Of Virtue
The Search
Palmdale
Band Members:

Jan Kimmel (El Janni) - Guitar, Nord, Vocals
Maurice Eggenschwiler - Guitar, Vocals
Cory Cousins - Drums
Gabriel Katz - Bass

Review:

Blues Funeral debut album – The Search – is an album that doesn’t play by the rules as the band play as many different genres they can lay their hands on. Let’s make a list – Prog, Doom, Stoner, Psych, Blues, Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. It’s a very retro sounding album but made accessible for a more modern audience.

Opening track – Autumn Dream – is the first track to get you accustomed with Blues Funeral music. A progressive psychedelic odyssey that will have you thinking of bands such as Thin Lizzy, Deep Purple and Jethro Tull in some respects especially with the more folk based moments. It has a doom rock/metal vibe running throughout the song and most of the album. The vocals may feel out of place but give it time as Blues Funeral will soon win you over.

Second track – Harbinger – evokes the classic Thin Lizzy duelling signature guitars but on a more progressive scale. The vocals are handled superbly well with some interesting dual aspects starting to appear. The lyrics could have done with more work but it’s the riffs that hold your attention as the band effortlessly drifts from Psych, Classic Rock to old-school Heavy Metal.

Third track – Planet Void – is where you start to hear some crazy Psych/ Doom/Stoner based sounds buried under the classic style of Hard Rock/Heavy Metal. Some people may say the band play it too safe with their music. Maybe but you can’t deny how great it sounds. These guys are seasoned pros and they know how to get the job done. The progressive NWOBHM vibe is what keeps the momentum going but the vocals run a close second as this song could be classed as the best song on the album.

The other three songs (Paragon Of Virtue, The Search and Palmdale) follow the same path as the opening three tracks but the band becomes a little more inventive with their music. The organs are simply sublime on the later stages on the album especially of Paragon Of Virtue as the band tries their hand at almost Gothic/Occult style rock. Paragon Of Virtue is perhaps where Blues Funeral starts to feel more comfortable with their sound.

The album is by no means original but these guys make you forget all that and make you feel you’re listening to a good old fashioned classic Hard Rock/Heavy Metal album. There’s a wide range of superb riffs waiting to be discovered as the guys love playing their epic progressive riffs. Blues Funeral even try their hand at Mastodon (Leviathan era) proggy riffs on The Search but with a more jazz based feel.

The organs yet again steal the show on The Search but it’s still a group effort as Blues Funeral excels creating an album suffering from a major identity crisis. The Search doesn’t know what type of album it wants to be: Classic Rock, Hard Rock, Prog Metal, Doom Metal or Heavy Metal. That’s the beauty of this album. You’re treated to so many different sounds and moods it’s virtually impossible to be bored by this album. It’s one crazy wild ride if you’re fan of all things Hard Rock and Heavy Metal with a few hidden surprises along the way.

The Search is a wonderful debut album and it’s one that will soon have you under its weird magical spell.

Words by Steve Howe

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