Heavy Darkness is out now.
Every so often a band comes along that really makes you question whether you are listening to the most inspired music ever or something completely terrible. Something so odd, that your brain cannot quite digest it. Despite this, you find yourself liking the music on offer. Inexplicably. Funeral Casket are one such band. Blending industrial metal and hip hop beats, they create a brand of metal that would be very much at home in the club. Having said this, they are long explorations (each track on this EP is exactly seven minutes and forty two seconds) with a macabre inspiration and subject matter.
We sat down with the man behind the music who told us about how the EP is inspired by walks in a Lombardy cemetery, Demonolators, and the tendency of a lot of people to ignore pain, violence, hate, dominance and submission.
Heavy Darkness: Legend of the Night Eaters
Almost all of Heavy Darkness was written initially with voice notes while walking through Lombardy cemetery for a few days. The music itself wasn’t inspired by the cemetery, but the way it should sound was. Lombardy is a bit creepy and sometimes it looks forgotten and rundown, but the atmosphere inspired me to make the music gritty and messy, all while being still somewhat organized.
The title Heavy Darkness comes from peoples fear of death. I grew up in a family of Demonolators. It’s a belief just like any other, but it’s not for everyone. My family has been in the funeral home business for some years and since I was a child, I’ve grown comfortable with casket showrooms and service halls and corpse preparation. I’ve seen many kinds of funerals; from traditional burials, ritualistic Demonolator services, cremation parties, and even people who had no family or friends, so their bodies would lay in the main viewing room surrounded by nothing but silence for 6 hours.
The name Funeral Casket comes from the emotions I felt while being in the funeral home. I found beauty in the way electric lights and candle lights reflect off of caskets and urns. The way black roses look against a shiny copper bone box and even the way people dress during funeral services. I see things differently, obviously, but most people have a heavy dread of the dark finality that is death. Mention death or murder around most people and they quickly want to change the topic to something more “positive” and light hearted. Fantasy is like some peoples reality, but for me, reality is violence and pain and darkness and things that can only be conjured up in nightmares.
Heavy Darkness is the manifestation of pain, violence, hate, dominance and submission that a lot of people want to pretend doesn’t exist. The victim in the story represents those who feel they can run from the darkness. This only makes the darkness stronger and harder to handle when it finally catches you. I can only relay a message like this through industrial metal. The wild madness of metal music paired with restrictive, robotic motion of machines in industrial music is the perfect way to describe the controlled chaotic storm that is death and darkness.
1. Bone Eater
The opening guitar riff on this track is an homage to all of the super fuzzy, overly distorted stoner doom bands I love, like Dopelord, Acid King and Goatsnake. In my opinion, the more dirty the distortion is, the more aggressive the riff sounds. ‘Bone Eater’ is meant to sound sharp like a knife, or a set of razor sharp teeth as in the story of the Night Eaters. It represents the kind of chaos and destructive force that we can do nothing about. As something more powerful than us takes control, we’re simply left to watch in awe at what is taking place, because the danger is too great to get involved.
As the lead track on the EP, ‘Bone Eater’ sets the tone for how violent and powerful the Night Eaters can be when hunting and ultimately destroying their prey. It’s the quick “dance with death” that a lot of humans love to take without spending the entire night in death’s cold dark embrace. The thrill seekers, the adrenaline junkies, and the non-believers (in the case of witchcraft and the paranormal) all have an urge to prove what is possible for flesh and bone to prove their own dominance over fear. ‘Bone Eater’ is the subtle cue to stop while you‘re ahead. It’s the lions warning roar. It’s the dark shadow you see out of the corner of your eye during a blood ritual. It’s the climb before the horrific “accidental” fall…
2. Blood In Teeth
The distorted bass intro on this track is probably my favorite part about the entire thing. It was actually written by accident while trying to write the main riff for the track. The bass, to me, gives the track a feeling of being subdued, or restrained and slowly realizing that there is no escape. It’s the heavy feeling of defeat that feels like a rusty 1,000 pound weight resting on your shoulders. It’s the 200 pound guillotine blade dangling above you as you wait to die. It’s the inevitable end that we will all face one day put into music, in my own way of course.
‘Blood In Teeth’ is my own interpretation of what ‘acceptance of destruction” would sound like put into music. The feeling that nothing can save you and all that is left is to accept the punishment, no matter how harsh it is. The second “drop” of the track around the 4:36 mark is a slight nod to atonal styled music. The confusion it adds to the track was perfect for what ‘Blood In Teeth’ represents. “How did I get here?”, “Why is this happening?”, “Why me?”, all the questions that you ask yourself when you feel defeated or at a loss. At this point in the story, our “victim”, or “lucky guy”, for all of you Sadists and Masochists out there, is wishing to die. His body holds on as he is being tortured and completely destroyed and he realizes that his destruction isn’t a random act.
It’s a calculated end designed to maximize pain and prolong suffering. Imagine having to watch as an otherworldly demonic beast sinks it’s teeth into your flesh and slowly devours you. Your body won’t shut down, your mind won’t go blank, everything just plays out as if you aren’t even involved. You must watch as the predator soaks it’s ‘Blood in teeth’. It’s an example of beautifully orchestrated violence just for you…at your expense…
‘Disembowel’ is industrial and doom with a pinch of hip-hop (as a lot of my drum machine work tends to incorporate slight hip hop drum breaks) all rolled into one blood soaked flesh cake made with hate specifically for your consumption and eventual violent vomiting from the disgusting ingredients used to create this track. The guitars are meant to sound as if their bleeding onto one another and overlapping. Pushing each other out of the way as if they’re fighting for position in the chaotic melody.
The industrial, machine-like elements of my music are what drive my creativity, more so on this project than my previous work, but I was especially critical about applying an extreme amount of industrial noise and sound to this track, because ‘Disembowel’ (Chapter 3 of this story) is the end. It’s the last scene in the slasher movie where the camera pans over the lifeless bodies scattered around the room and the blood splattered on the walls, and the horrific expressions of death that are displayed on the faces of the dead. It’s the feeling after death. The nothingness. The slow burial of the corpse. The first swarm of flies to arrive to the rotting dead flesh as it lays there in the sun. The tempo of the track was a big deal for me. I wanted a sluggish, slow death march, toxic sludge river kind of flow to the music.
The riff also spans a larger group of notes to create a bigger melody, giving the track this wide and empty feeling of dread. I wrote the main riff with the mindset that I was writing a violent anthem for a psychotic bloodthirsty king to ride into battle to. A song of power and brutal dominance without restraint. Think of a matte black tank rolling slowly down a residential street destroying everything and everyone. The initial episode is enough to warrant panic, but it’s the aftermath that leaves the survivors in disbelief of what happened. Disembowel represents forced change. Complete removal of everything familiar, leaving emptiness in it’s place. It’s brutality without reason. Violence for the sake of being violent. Our victim and his would be savior in the end are destroyed, just because they could be…