Relief In Sleep…I must admit that’s close to what I was thinking during the intro track on Funeral, albeit the title, “Memorial”, is represented well by the dreary, desolate emotive sound displayed by the band. Thankfully all fears of that being the case on the rest of the record were thwarted on the next song up, “The Living Dead”. The opening to the song almost makes you wonder if the malicious undead are actually fast on your heels for a taste of flesh.
This was my first time hearing of Relief In Sleep and I was not let down. Kara Dennis who (wo)mans the mic has a stellar voice. She’s able to maintain an almost croon like tone when on the lows, but she can hit sky high pitches, while maintaining a musically luscious massage for your ear drums. The only thing I wasn’t extremely fond of in her in vocal skill set (which trust me, her skills are in abundance) was the screaming. It’s nothing against Kara’s growls in general, I’ve personally always been thrown off when female vocalists let out that howl. They clearly can do it well (Kara being a fine example along with Otep Shamaya of Otep, Courtney LaPlante of Iwrestledabearonce and others) so I’m not sure why it sours me. Perhaps I’m intimidated because they do it better than I could ever hope to.
Don’t let the below than average screams sway you in any way towards not listening to this album. That would be a mistake.
Another great thing about this album was the fact that once I hit play, I blinked and I still had plenty of quality tunes ahead of me. Although it only has 10 tracks on the record, it still clocks in at around 46 minutes. This may not be the longest LP to ever be put out, but much better then the typical 30-35 minutes timeline of most releases today. Far too many bands release an album that when it’s right around the time your hearts pounding at it’s fastest, it ends. Thankfully not this time.
“Funeral” ends somewhat the way it began; on a sad and depressing note. This time it’s not depressing due to the song itself; more so because that’s exactly what they are trying to convey. This is the title track, and when I think of a funeral I don’t usually think of rainbows and butterflies. If you close your eyes when listening, you can almost picture yourself standing over the coffin of someone you once knew. I know this doesn’t sound like an enjoyable listen, but sometimes sadness is what we feel and it’s nice to know we’re not alone. Hopefully I’m not alone in enjoying this solid release.