SKULL290

FUNERAL MARCH, Invite to Die!? (1992, Koroski Radio)

The skull:
Apparently released as a cassette-only album, judging by the shape of the artwork, this sports an album title of awkward-English, the kind of thing common to Eastern European and Japanese bands. Gotta love ’em. It looks like pure doom metal, if I had to wager a guess as to its musical content, all gothic horror in black and white. And we love skulls with bat wings around here, a motif made popular by Overkill, and Slovenia’s Funeral March add their own contribution to the niche. Note that the skull is somehow able to furrow his brow to create a deadly scowl. And dig the speeding black dots flying west at mach 10 in the background, lending a sci-fi edge to the supernatural goings-on in the foreground.

The music:
In the band picture I’m looking at, two of the four dudes (all who look about age 17) are sporting Sepultura shirts. And there is a whiff of Sepultura happening here, but it’s more Morbid Visions than Arise. Yep, Funeral March are raw and primitive, but just competent enough, blurring the lines between early thrash, death and black metal. It all ends up sounding like Morbid Visions covered by early Tiamat, such is its sluggish, rhythmically loose approach. They do rise to a higher level of complexity and competence with final song “Chernobil,” which happens to also be the longest song on the album (4:45). Otherwise the songs are quite short, averaging about two-and-a-half minutes in length. There’s a charm to this, and I like similar sounding acts of the era, but they’re not doing anything I can’t live without. If you like early Sepultura, early Tiamat, raw Greek black/thrash/death, and early Mortuary Drape, this would probably hold some level of appeal for you. Interestingly, my survey of Invite to Die!? on Youtube led to a completely unrelated link called ‘Never Let a Crack Head Sing at Your Funeral.’ It’s good fun, so check that out too.
— Friar Wagner

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