CD - $10.00
LA's Anubis Rising broke up before they got around to releasing a full length effort, but this CD compiles their two EP's, a split with Uphill Battle, and an Eyehategod cover. Pigeonholing the band is a near impossibility; whip up a mixture of progressive metal, doom, and a bit of classic rock and you're halfway there. Darkly epic and ethreal, with hints of Neurosis and Isis creeping in, Funerary Preamble is for those looking for originality amidst the cookie-cutter metal contemporaries. Pick it up today!!
I've been in possession of Anubis Rising's Funerary Preamble for several months, and occasional listens have proven that it takes a lot of time for this material to sink in. With 11 songs ranging from three to 12 minutes and a total of an hour and sixteen minutes of material, this album, which encompasses most of the band's discography, is a massive slab of expansive, plodding metal. It takes time to digest, and probably more than one sitting for most listeners.
While Anubis Rising's lumbering, slow-to-mid-paced rhythms, swelling guitar riffs and spacious atmospheres will draw comparisons to bands such as Isis and Neurosis, the band has a unique sound amongst the household names of doom, sludge and stoner metal. But it's hard for me to pinpoint exactly what distinguishes Anubis Rising. It could be their frequent use of ambient textures, the unique and discernable bass presence, the decidedly raspy, screamed vocals, or eerie melodies. Perhaps it's a combination of everything -- again, there's a lot going on in terms of song structures and outside influences.
Funerary Preamble is divided into three sections, each one representing a different release. The first four songs are the band's latest and final offerings, and, for the most part, make it seem like the band wasn't out of creative inspiration before breaking up. The songs meander throughout a variety of styles, and delicate sounds -- acoustic pieces, quiet ambience, and the like -- are especially important to the underlying structures.
There're also three songs from a split with Uphill Battle, but I'm most into the middle portion, which is material from the Scales Of Truth EP. It's a little less abstract, though no less expansive, and easier to access. Although each song is at least eight minutes long and has several subdued passages, there's a stronger reliance on upbeat tempos and familiar brands of metal (death, black, hints of thrash). "Extinguishing Fire In Its Season" starts as one of the heaviest songs of this near-discography, and carefully melts melodic chord progressions, dissonant textures, driving, mid-paced drumming and painful shrieks for many of its eight minutes. "Crook and Flail" has guitar riffing and an overall mood that reeks of black metal, but without the ferocious speed.
The more I listen to Funerary Preamble, the more I develop an interest and attentiveness to Anubis Rising. Despite the band's relatively unknown name and seeming lack of restraint, they do play with creativity and skill, and comparing them to big bands of a similar mindset is justified. Of course, the band is no longer together, so this is all we'll hear from them, but at least it -- a massive chunk of it, at that -- is out there.