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Funeral Tears : The Only Way Out

Melodic and emotional, if unexceptional, Funeral/Death/Doom from Russia's Funeral Tears.

'The Only Way Out' is the fourth full-length release from Russia's Funeral Tears. According to the providing inlay, they classify this album as, 'based on melodic Funeral Doom/Death Doom with new elements for band - epic atmosphere and Black Metal elements', which I found interesting because I didn't really know how that was possible. Unsurprisingly, it did indeed turn out to be impossible to successfully fuse that many styles in a single composition, not that the Russians didn't try anyway though!

Instead, I'd mostly classify this release as a very melodic and emotional Death/Doom composition. It wasn't quite as captivating as Vanha, whose album I have also reviewed today, but it was certainly a polished release. I thought the guitar work was very strong, as was the production and the harsh vocals, but it just lacked a little bit of variety for my liking, at least on the Death/Doom side of things. There was nothing painful about listening to the music but it never really reached a climax.

Having said that, I should point out that Funeral Tears did randomly insert segments of wild Black Metal, which I found extremely puzzling. I just don't know why they did it. It's not as if the music they've produced on 'The Only Way Out' remotely correlates with an aggressive or dark atmosphere so why it's there, I really couldn't say. The only thing it convinced me of is that Funeral Tears really didn't know in which direction to take this release.

I liked the softer, more mellow acoustic parts that Funeral Tears utilised on 'The Only Way Out'. I honestly felt that's what they did the best on this album. Their polished, melodic Death/Doom is decent enough but without any real direction nor variety, it's hard to find too much merit in it, though it certainly wasn't bad. Perhaps a more Saturnus- or Avernus-esque approach would be better suited for Funeral Tears in the future because whatever they wish to classify this album as really doesn't cut the mustard for me.

I'm a fan of the physical presentation of the album, though, and I genuinely believe it's important to mention something like this in a time where it seems to be become less and less important to bands. This CD is in a lovely digipack with slipcase so despite the tacky lyrics 'sheet' included, I really liked the way it was assembled, particularly when factoring in the artwork. It was good enough for me to overlook the broken English, that's for sure!

I can't honestly recommend this album to people as being worthy of a purchase, however, because I just don't know who I would recommend it to or for. The production is fine but at no stage did I feel like I was listening to something I'd want to listen to again. It's just reasonable melodic Death/Doom without any noteworthy variances other than the very, very odd Black Metal bursts.

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Reviewer's rating: 5.5/10


Tracklist :
1. Become The God
2. Be Humane
3. Look In The Mirror
4. The Only Way Out
5. Outro

Duration : Approx. 46 minutes

Visit the Funeral Tears bandpage.

Reviewed on 2019-01-04 by Ian Morrissey
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