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Funeral Horse / Press

“If judged on the merit of riffs alone, Texan tarnation masters Funeral Horse would be a holy grail of hard-rock. The constant shifts from road-rage solos to dusty blues riffs to pavement cracking noise-rock/hardcore to vintage 70s hard rock backed by a walloping rhythm section will keep you guessing and ducking for cover as to which direction the bombardment is coming from next. With band members lovingly named Paul Bearer (vocals/guitars) and Jason Andy Argonauts (bass), the entire project has the recipe for sheer global conquest via tongue-in-cheek humor laced into a serious, non-nonsense rock foundation.”

“Anyone who wants more from their stoner rock than chewed repetitions of a sound we heard countless times before can advantageously turn to the upcoming album from Funeral Horse. Where many others in the constant flow of riff-based rock band for a life in the absence of their own creative initiatives, these Houston-based men refreshingly disrespectful of genre boundaries and preconceptions about how it "should" sound.”

"Gifts of Opium and Myrrh" brings that end sooner than I imagine many listeners will want, as the album feels like just a quick tour of the wild animals and wide vistas available to be put on display by the band at just a handful of minutes past half an hour. Of course, that will keep those ears eager for the next release, and busy soaking up the fuzz and grit from this one in the mean-time, so it's hard to feel too put-off by the brevity. A twisting feedback stretch to bridge the way (laid to rest with a burst of instrumentation that works best as a surprise) helps ease the journey's end, leaving first-timers to sit back and reflect on what an unusual one it was.

“The scintillating doom character hearty Divinity For The Wicked is successfully ornate dynamically stoner elements and tough heavy rock nuggets, which combined with weak punk and post-hardcore irregularities of emerging Funeral Horse gives us an extremely heavy sound that proto metal vagrancy and macho in every note. In short, we are dealing with both rich and balanced and robust heavy sound, which I suppose that will satisfy classic doom sound lovers and lovers of modern stoner music, since the explosive Divinity For The Wicked of Funeral Horse standing on the verge heavy rock future and past. Beautiful.”

“They've gone close to perfecting their sound, a lo fi stoner stomp with an old punk head on its drooped shoulders. The vocals, instantly definitive are purposefully, don't-give-a-fuck grainy and angry. There's a reminder of Drunk Horse here and there, married to some gorgeous tripped out mini-passages leaning towards Earthless territory, without fully submitting to the psych, the gravelly rock n roll containing a coarse hardcore attitude from decades past. It's grittiness, a slight but detectable noise rock edge forced through a space rock filter, is what makes this so engaging and gives Funeral Horse an identity of their own. They have stepped up and released an album to hold aloft. As the bagpipes lead out the final track Gifts of Opium and Myrrh it feels like a fitting send off, a salute to a fantastic piece of work.”

“A beautiful title for the second studio album of doom punk trio of Houston in twenty-seven minutes tells six stories and resumes historical 'Working Man' Rush. Listening to the initial 'Until The Last Nation Falls' would think the Green River and their lo-fi recordings but it does not. The mood could be that too but the specter of influences is much more varied and elements stoner and blues instrumental accompanying the plots on which there is the voice of Paul Bearer. 'Communist's Blues' and 'I Hear The Devil Calling Me' are two other striking passages in which besides the talents of guitarist and frontman is highlighted a rocking rhythm section. Those responsible are Chris and Jason - that could be two neighbors as well as two patrons of Merlotte's True Blood. I hate to think what would happen if this record fall into the hands of Aaron Beam of Red Fang or Brent Hinds of Mastodon. Certainly the growth of Texans is worthy of your attention.”

“Trion Funeral Horse blandar friskt sludge, doom och punk med en smula garage, och får det tveklöst att fungera. En av de saker som sticker ut mest är cymbalerna som verkligen smäller och kraschar sig rakt in i förgrunden och nästintill river sönder den resterande ljudbilden på helt rätt sätt. Sinister Rites of the Master är ett mörkt album, men med sväng. Man dras fastkedjad till en häst igenom öknen helt utan anledning och har inget emot det. Riffandet är smått fantastiskt och variationsrikt, och jag gillar att sången ligger i bakgrunden utan att direkt ta någon plats, för det ger musiken extra styrka och kraft att klamra sig fast och se till att man suktar efter mer när de dryga 29 spelminuterna är över. Gillar man smutsig sludge med inslag av ett flertal andra genrer i rock n’ roll-förpackning, så ska man definitivt plocka upp det här. Bara förpackningen är som sagt värt det, så allt annat är bara flera plus i kanten.”

“Inclassable et qui ne cherche pas à être classé, Funeral Horse assène en 28 minutes, sept coups de butoir, dont une reprise vite pliée mais bien appropriée de « The Working Man » de Rush, qui leur ouvrent les portes pour faire ce que bon leur semble. Hâte d’entendre leur prochaine prédication.”

“Funeral Horse: that name should tell you all you need to know, but is somewhat misleading with regard to the second outing from this Texan trio. Instead of being the slowest, heaviest thing you've heard, this is a fuzz-drenched psych-stoner romp full of punk irreverence with a retro feel. Opener 'Until The Last Nation Falls' comes out like The Ramones lost in a desert, whilst leads are layered and intricate, reminiscent of Robby Krieger's later Doors moments. The ensuing 'Amputate The Hands Of Thieves' continues the stoner-punk ideal, the high-pitched yells accompanying veering riffs fired in brief blasts. These change weight to a heavy, pulsing throb at the coda and carry through to the sparing, almost seductive groove of 'Communist's Blues', closing with a solitary harmonica drifting over an eerie atmosphere.”

“If you like the epic crash of Doom yet also enjoy the frenetic snotty attitude of Punk you will find both smashed together on this album, the Texan trio have done this and rummaged around in the broken pieces and put it back in an almost Dadaist style and make no apology for it.”

“Sinister Rites of the Master is Funeral Horse’s second album, and the first to be pressed onto vinyl. Their debut album Savage Audio Demon leaned more towards the punk side. The new one leans much more towards the devil horns side, with the long sludge riff coda on “Amputate the Hands of Thieves”, the doomy sub Sabbath of “Communist’s Blues” (though sung in head weirdo Paul Bearer’s best Gibby Haynes impression) complete with Ozzy harp blowing, the trademark metal gallop of “Stoned and Furious” to the stoner metal take on Rush’s “Working Man”.”

“This album has so much going on and it is all done with this intense macabre hue. The band deals out justice in a world that has gone haywire; they return to the old laws and honor those that were put in place by their master. Whoever that may be. But is their punky doom and sludgy garage build on deep dark riffs and open aired drums one minute and rumbling and rolling the next that turns you on before you can tune out.”

“Funeral Horse's latest release is a fine slab of fuzzier-than-thou stoner rock, perfect for blasting out of your car's windows on a muggy night. While the distortion on the vocals can sometimes make the words a bit tricky to properly hear, that fits right in with the buzzsaw guitar and drums that thump like a neighbor who thinks you've got the music turned up too loud. The record keeps things lean and trim at approximately a half-hour's worth of material, with all of the songs flexed out to a pleasing level of gritty sound and grooves that will get some part of your body moving in time to the rhythm before you realize it's happening.”

“It may have taken me a while to check out their new album but what a great album it is. First track – Until The Last Nation Fails – is a punk driven doomy blues rock affair with the band sounding like a more despondent garage rock band from the legendary 60s/70s Detroit Rock scene though there are hints of other modern day heavy metal vibes. It more than sets the scene for the remainder of the album.”

“The whole time I’m listening, I find myself scrabbling and digging to come up with references to make these guys comprehensible, but it wasn’t ’til right there at the end that it truly hit me. They’re not metal, they’re not stoner-rock, they’re not anything that can really be labeled; they’re just a loud, raw, angry ball of fire that gets thrown out onto a stage every once in a while so it can explode. See what it sounds like when it does.”

“Nada mal el debut de Funeral Horse que se desmelenan con esta descarga del rock más conciso e incisivo bajo una producción tosca y borrosa que resulta esencial para obtener su máxima decoración en conjunto. Un disco explosivo que te puede dejar con la misma sensación que obtiene cualquier músico cuando despega del escenario rumbo al público ferviente, la energía que sientes durante ese pequeño viaje se llama “Sinister Rites Of The Master”. Rozando el notable.”

“The wailing leads of “Stoned and Furious” do well to call back the tom runs at the start of “Executioner of Kings” that act as the bed for a full-sounding wall of riff, and “Working Man” gets reinvented as an early Pentagram demo, blown-out vocals and all. What Funeral Horse do on their second full-length release is to show that while they keep things loose and natural sounding, they’re still working on a conscious progression of their sound. Sinister Rites of the Master is likely to be a sleeper vinyl, but it departs entirely from the stereotypical post-Pantera Texan burl and is so gleefully stoned in parts that one can’t help but wonder how they hold it together as long as they do. They’ve taking away some of the dronier sounds they presented their first time out, but spend their time well nonetheless.”

“Production on this stoner metal album is very old-school. Not bells or whistles and it almost comes across like a recorded live set rather than an album. Rough around the edges, but no worse off for it. Where it’s easy to compare such bands to the likes of Sabbath, in this instance I actually had the Rolling Stones knocking about in my head during the opening track (“Until the Last Nation Falls”) for some reason. As the album progresses, though, the tone just settle a bit and the slightly slower, traditional stoner starts to come through once more. “Executioner of Kings”, for example, is far heavier while album closer “Working Man” is pure, driven head-bobbingness.”

“Until today I had never heard of them. They’re a heavy/stoner/doom metal band from Houston, Texas. The album is some great stoner metal. It doesn’t have a huge southern influence but instead seems to gather influences more towards NWOBHM and proto-metal with a hint of classic rock and punk. The sound is raw. There doesn’t seem to be any over produced aspects to it. The sound is simple. It’s a great sounding album.”

“A blistering Doom/Stoner/Sludge Metal power trio from Houston, USA whose stunning EP is packed full of gigantic riffs to slay you with.”

“And while “The Fedayeen” is somewhat incongruous with the rest of what follows, it serves its purpose as as the opener in establishing an expectation that Funeral Horse can immediately and effectively work against. Call it trickery if you want, it’s hard to argue with the results, and in the end, it’s “The Fedayeen” that makes me the most curious about where Funeral Horse might go stylistically after Savage Audio Demon and in what direction their sound might continue to develop, or if the sides of their personality will cohere into something else entirely. It’s a common-enough experience in listening to bands getting their feet wet, but nonetheless true about what the trio accomplish on their first tape that it’s an enticing prospect to see how the progression might play out across their blend of punk, heavy rock and doomed riffing.”

“I’ve never even heard of this band, but this is a slick-looking cassette. What you get is a whole lot of ‘90s-style metal in the vein of bands like Sleep or maybe even Cavity. The third song “Scatter My Ashes over the Mississippi” is the best, with a less pretentious bar rock feel to it and more of a stoner vibe a la Lord Green or Buzzov*en.”

“Turning attention to the music itself and Funeral Horse make a full on racket that incorporates metal, blues, doom, punk and other experimental sounds to create a sound to break the speed limit to. The EP is definitely one of contrasts, beginning with ominous doom tones and droning feedback as tribal Neurosis style drumming tattoos its way into your subconscious before morphing into a towering soundtrack of terror with menacing vocal intonations buried low in the mix.”

“Si los salvajes riffs de “The Fedayeen” te sacaron una sonrisa, acto seguido viene “Crusher Under Shame And Misery” para fulminarte dejando a un lado el sonido desértico para asestarnos en la cabeza con una buena cabalgada que contiene muchos elementos punk.”

“I think Funeral Horse has been unfairly lumped into the “stoner metal” category. While the band definitely has some of that vibe it also has elements of punk, gonzo, glam and early metal in it too.”

“...what you mostly need to know about Funeral Horse and this album is that on the very first song they create an opus which could outdo a number of full length albums by other bands claiming to rock.”

“There’s a cassette version of Savage Audio Demon available, which I would like to get his clammy paws on. This type of angling shows what kind of band Houston’s Funeral Horse is – vintage, loving those 70’s, and in bed with thick, rocked-up riffs, and vocals with plenty of ominous echo. The bluesy “Scatter My Ashes Over the Mississippi” is the pick of the bunch here (nice dynamics), but don’t leave “Invisible Hand of Revenge” out in the cold either. Rocking stuff.”

““We’re heavy and slow… so is our music”, this sayeth their facebook page. I can’t comment on the guys themselves, but their music certainly does live up to the claim. Funeral Horse currently have a new EP available for free download with tape copies (Tapes! Love it!) available shortly. They certainly live up to the hype. In fact, the first two words that spring to my mind listening to it are, indeed, “heavy” and “slow” – but not ponderously so. I can almost picture swathes of people with hair over their eyes, wearing black/tie-dyed clothes and nodding slowly to the beat like a crowd of metal zombies. With beer in their hands.”

“... the band I’m most interested to check out is newcomers Funeral Horse, which formed out of the ashes of the gone-too-soon Art Institute; they’re heavy and sludgy and slow as hell, dwelling somewhere in the realm of High on Fire or Sleep, and that’s no bad place to be.”