Funeral Rites for the Living kicks off in just the right way, as Wake for the Human Race opens with this absolutely guttural voice until the grand entrance of the rest of the music; admittedly, I had no idea what to expect of this album by Hallowed Butchery because of a complete lack of hearing of this solo outfit of one, Ryan Scott Fairfield. In any case that does not matter, all I can say is that this grabs me somehow; powerful loud blasts balance perfectly with acoustic parts to create an aural feast for the ears, and Fitzgeralds range as a vocalist is equally impressive.
Describing the music of Hallowed Butchery is proving to be difficult because I kind of hear a bit of Neurosis (and even Steve Von Tills solo material) while at other times I think of My Life With The Thrill Kill Cult (Check the first heavy part of Great North Woods in combination with the vocal performance), but there might also be some black metal influence (in the sense of Wolves in the Throne Room). The sample at the end of Back Asswards makes me laugh; so, I am assuming that Fairfield does have a sense of humor about his music. Kennebec is a creepy affair with sparse piano, electric sound washes, and an unsettlingly effective female guest vocal; the song is actually quite powerful and the heavy parts sound like they are closing in on you when you listen to it.
Even though Funeral Rites for the Living straddles multiple styles of music from different genres and incorporates them into its musical alchemy, sticking Hallowed Butchery in any specific group of bands or musicians feels silly. This album is simply a record to enjoy listening to without worrying where the influences come from or what Fairfield is trying to emulate with his music. It is a disservice to the Funeral Rites for the Living to try and pigeon hole the album. Quite simply, Hallowed Butchery is not at all what I was expecting and Funeral Rites for the Living is an emotional rollercoaster of an album where sounds hide and jump out at the listener and the superb dynamic manipulation makes it a dizzying listening experience.
7.5 / 10
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