Monday 24 July 2017

Blues Funeral - Awakening (Album Review)

Release date: August 25th 2017. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD

Awakening – Tracklisting

Shadow Of The Snake
Illusions Of Reality
The Gathering Dust

Band Members

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


Blues Funeral new album - Awakening - is better structured and more focused than their debut album. Their debut album was all over the place but in a good way, as the band included as many different genres they could possibly lay their hands on. Awakening doesn't follow that approach as Blues Funeral opt for a more straight-forward seventies sounding Blues Rock/Psych/Heavy Metal sound.

There are still moments of stoner/doom metal riffs appearing throughout the album. Though this time Blues Funeral seemed to have settled on a more Deep Purple based sound. The lyrics are still way over the top but that's what you expect from an album such as this.

Opening track - Shadow Of The Snake - has a slight operatic and progressive rock feel with the band playing some cool heavy riffs from the start. The organs add a creepy and doom based psychedelic feel. The dual vocals Jan and Maurice add quite a classic heavy metal feel. Blues Funeral feel they grew up and influenced by a steady diet of classic seventies Hard Rock/Metal and the album is a testament to that love and knowledge of that era of classic music.

The rest of the album follows the same approach of Blues/Prog Rock driven melodic riffs being the centre stage of the whole album. You can expect epic guitar solos, OTT vocals and gloomy organs all combining for a brilliantly entertaining ride from start to finish. Songs such as Awakening, Illusions Of Reality, Casimir and The Gathering Dust all play to Blues Funeral strengths with prog rock solos that have passion, drive and determination not seen on their debut album.

The standout track has on the album has to be Firedrake as the superb vocals grab your attention from the start. The band slow the mood right down and that means you can immerse yourself with the doomy theatrical vibes being played around you.

I will admit I would like to hear more modern based sounds that their debut album included. Now, at least Blues Funeral know what kind of band they want to be and they excel in delivering good old fashioned Hard Rock/Metal with flourishes of classic Doom Metal holding everything together. The production is handled superbly well with the album striking the right balance between the quieter and louder parts of the album.

Awakening is a superb album and Blues Funeral should have no trouble in finding a dedicated audience within the Hard Rock/Classic Rock/Heavy Metal community.

Words by Steve Howe