Over 20 years ago my first introduction to the Canadian project Funerary Call was a tape, “A Comselh De Ors” (1994). In that time it was a normal thing to do, to release your demos on tapes. These tapes could be copied (“dubbed”) by the person who released it, but more professional was to use blank tapes (rather than preprinted by the manufacturer such as TDK), print stickers to put on the tape (like with “A Comselh De Ors”) or have the tape printed (which was expensive, so rare). The sleeves were often photocopied, printed a bit more professionally (like with “A Comselh De Ors”) or very professional with two-sided print on glossy paper. Small demos of beginning bands and projects could be easily recognised. See here to see some of those covers of these days.
Nowadays tapes seem to be hip again. Labels like Beläten, Aufnahme und Wiedergabe and Fall of Nature throw tapes on the market again. The first two labels offers download links (from Bandcamp) for the people who cannot play tapes anymore. Fall of Nature just releases tapes. The sleeve and the tape are nicely printed and the tape is one of those black “normal” (contrary to “chrome” or “metal”) tapes that were only made available by more professional labels in times past.
The music then. Funerary Call created two very dark, noisy ambient tracks. They are too noisy to be called “soundscapes” or “dark ambient”, but not noisy enough to be “noise” or even “ambient noise”. The tracks are good, but not the best material that Harlow MacFarlane released during his career.
The Funerary Call tracks are a lot better than the tracks on side B from Crown Of Bone. This active noise outfit created two tracks of noise mayhem, unstructured, chaotic; not my kind of noise.
Also I got myself a few other Fall of Nature tapes, but all are so far behind Funerary Call in quality, that I decided to not write reviews, but just to mention them in the ‘blog‘ part.
Links: Funerary Call, Fall of Nature Records
The rating is 3 for FC, 1 for CoB
Next year it will be 20 years ago since I got myself the debut tape of this Canadian project. Where did time go? The sound went from eerie ritual to dark industrial to the more dark ambient soundscapes of today. Many releases have been made available. Sometimes shortly after eachother, sometimes after such a lap that we all wondered if the project would still raise again from the ashes. In recent years the other project Sistrenatus seems to have been laid to rest in favour of Funerary Call. It took many years before the countrymates of FC and Cyclic Law found eachother, but here is the first collaboration.
This 45 minutes soundscape does not sound as ritualistic to me as other releases of FC, but I can asure you that it is as damn dark as previous offerings. The music could be the soundtrack for a horror movie to give you an idea of the atmosphere. This sound may not be my favourite FC sound, but this album surely is another good release of mr. MacFarlane.
Links: Funerary Call, Cyclic Law
And suddenly there are two new releases by Funerary Call from Canada. They somehow seem ‘twin-products’ with very dark, ritualistic, and most of all, more minimalistic sounds than I am used to. “Fragments From The Aethyr” opens with dark and eerie sounds with a violin, reminding of the masterly “Equestrian Seals” from “Dark Waters Stirred” with Troy Southgate’s voice, but then without Southgate. Pretty soon the track goes over in noisy havoc, dark, like it is supposed to sound. Furtheron things get more minimalistic, strange and dark soundscapes created with ‘droning guitars’, human bones drumming, soundbowls and other ritualistic equipment, tortured voices and dark electronics. Three long tracks that come on a cd packed in a nice digipack for those who think that dark ambient is not dark enough.
Links: Funerary Call, Crucial Blast
The hottest days of the year are no good time to review the dark and bleak sounds of Funerary Call. “Nightside Emanations” opens with a very dark piece of ritualistic ambient, the style of Funerary Call, strange soundscapes, deep beats and an unsettling atmosphere. The album continues with dark sounds, but lateron the tracks get more minimalistic and soundscapish, a ritualistic sound reminding of current releases of the Polish Zoharum label. Funerary Call is a lot darker though. I have mixed feelings about the more minimalistic tracks. Sometimes they are too minimalistic for my liking, but at other moments the screams and weird sounds in the background raise an impressive atmosphere. Like I said, this music may be better on cold winter nights and not so much on sunny days with 35ºC / 95F. For people living in another climate than the Dutch or simply those who like the really dark stuff all year long, you want to get your hands on this album that comes in a nice DVD-size digipack.
Links: Funerary Call, Malignant
Once upon a time there was Funerary Call. From 1994 to 2005 the project grew from a “ritual” project in the black metal scene to a more dark ambient project getting recognition in the industrial scene, but then had to make way for a much more industrial project: Sistrenatus. Funerary Call was not entirely dead and burried though. In fact, there have been performances and even recordings, although, until now, unreleased. “Dark Waters Stirred” is a very dark and sometimes noisy ambient cd with dark rumblings, violins, piano and in one track, the voice of Troy Southgate. Once it even works towards a very Sistrenatus-reminding dark noise sound. This impressive release will appeal to people who know MacFarlane mostly for Sistenatus, but probably also to people who enjoy the 2004/5 style of this project. When you like to listen to dark soundscapes, a bit monotous, but not too much and like a good touch of noise, try to lay your hands on this release.
Links: Funerary Call, Fall Of Nature
Unfortunately I had to wait for this 12″ for a long time, because I ordered some A Challenge Of Honour material from the same distro, and ACOH kept being delayed. But as it turns out, I already had most of the music of “The Black Root”, maybe on other releases, but maybe also because I get rough and/or new recordings every now and then. In other reviews you can read ‘the story of FC’. Here I will keep to saying that “The Black Root” is less ‘ritual’ in sound, but more very dark ambient soundscapes giving a wonderfull dark atmosphere. The label may compare the sound of the band to CMI bands, but I can tell you that this is much darker. The 12″ is limited to 333 copies and the mcd “Beckoning At The Black” that was released on The Fossil Dungeon not too long ago, is already sold out. So, if you want to get some music of this Canadian project, be quick. It is worth the effort! And a point of light, a rerelease of the mcd with extra material is anounced.
A Canadian project that I have known since the very beginning. Demos in 94/95, a few 7″s and for a long time there has been talk about a mcd. After many years Funerary Call has alligned with the Riddick twins (of the Fossil Dungeon label, *The Soil Bleeds Black, etc., etc., etc.) who have the same background of electronic music in the early black metal scene. The result is a 22 minute mcd with dark industrial/ambient tracks with a sound that was almost lost. Six tracks of which some are more industrial, others more soundscapish, but all with a nice dark tone. After a contribution to the “On The Brink Of Infinity” compilation (1999) FC is finally again available for the masses.
Many years ago I hunted the black metal scene for ‘alternative’ electronic demos in a style that we refered to as “ritual”. Funerary Call from Canada has always been one of my favourite projects in the vein and for many years I wrote with the guy. Somehow we lost contact for too many years and recently I not only found out that “Impius Erga Deum” is still around, but also still making music as Funerary Call and even found his way to the internet. So here I have a cdr with material that I didn’t have yet (that means after 1999) and the inserted cover says “promo winter 2002”, but I don’t know if there is more recent material here as well. Anyway, FC used to make tranquil threatening music with occult texts, later went to more dark ambient/industrial and dark industrial and on this cdr I hear very dark ambient with industrial influences in a style that I don’t hear too often anymore. This is a pitty, so I am glad that FC is still around, still has material available and (still) has plans for a cd. So far over 10 years of existence has brought a few demos, two 7″s and a contribution to the wonderfull “On The Brink Of Infinity” sampler. Check out the FC website and order everything that is still available if you are into dark ritualistic ambient/industrial music!