The Funeral Pyre

The Nature of Betrayal

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Picked up for reissue by Prosthetic Records one year after its original release in 2006, The Nature of Betrayal is the sophomore album by So Cal extreme metal band, the Funeral Pyre, and, boy oh boy, these kids are about as frightening as one of those wildfires that regularly torment the region. That's because their sound converges almost exactly betwixt the dark realms of black and death metal, fusing raspy vocal screeches, and ample blastbeats from the former, with insidious melodies and Cookie Monster growls from the latter -- all the while draping most everything with atmospheric synthesizers for good measure. Although not for the faint of heart, because of their deeply misanthropic lyrics ("Plague That Leads to Extinction," anyone?) and largely unrelenting, full-speed-ahead attack (suspended, at last, for the brooding intro to "Stealing the Air of Life"), devastating numbers like "In the Wake," "Victims," and the title track, still manage to latch onto the listeners' memory banks in surprisingly short order. And amid an endless parade of similarly frenetic but generally forgettable extreme metal bands, this is a credit to the young group's collective arranging skills and, individually, to the impeccable keyboards and opportune piano provided by Daniella Jones, plus guitarist Jimmy Joyce's all around tour de force. So even though it may scorch your nose hairs with the force of the Santa Ana winds, The Nature of Betrayal is sure to turn heads amongst fans of either death metal bands like At the Gates and Amon Amarth, or black metal ones like Dissection and 1349.

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