Death is an inevitability, we’ve all come to realize this but yet, it still terrifies a number of individuals. Why? It’s not the end of life which we fear, it’s the uncertainty of what may happen after. Growing up, we’re taught different ideas but the truth is, we’ll never know until our time comes. Music has done a wonderful job of painting vivid pictures of what could be the answers and the latest band to tackle this subject is Atlanta’s The Funeral Portrait. Through the tale told in their debut, full-length album A Moment of Silence, they follow a man who devotes himself to finding out what really happens in the “afterlife,” from a scientific perspective. Little does he know, it’s not anything like he imagined and it quickly becomes a living nightmare for him. Having grown, aged and matured since the release of their debut EP, For the Dearly Departed, TFP wanted to find a way to convey a message and a sound that is truly their own. How does this release stack up, though?
For starters, you’re getting an entirely new sound from them. For the Dearly Departed focused on a heavily theatrical, whimsically dark sound but they’re leaving most of the theatrics on the stage, in place of a more punk/hardcore-infused sound. The album opens up with the title track “A Moment of Silence” which finds Landstrom’s powerful screams faded off into the distance before the band comes in full force and rips open the space around them. The emotion within these 13 tracks, individually and wholly, is almost too much to bear. This album is far more aggressive than it’s predecessor and shows individual, as well as collective, as well as they could have expected. Best of all, the story told captivates the listener and quickly gets you emotionally invested into it. The album’s first single, “The Water Obeyed the Gravity” is an excellent precursor to what you can expect to hear with A Moment of Silence while not giving too much away. Not to mention, it’s a very thought-provoking and enlightening experience. It hits you at gail force, brings you through the emotional wringer and doesn’t relent until the very end. These guys have become masters of building up a track, as well, as each track has it’s own unique build up that climaxes and calls out strong emotion at just the right point. The vocal trade-offs between Jennings and Landstrom have never been stronger, nor more perfectly timed. Some key tracks on the album would be “Shaking Hands”, “Like Father Like Son,” “Double Helix,” “Spark” and “The Water Obeyed the Gravity.” Each track flows perfectly into the next but no two sound the same, offering a diverse listening experience to whoever picks this album up.
If you’re into aggressive, thought-provoking music with a story to tell, A Moment of Silence is the album to beat this year. Best enjoyed in a dark room with the band’s unique incense to open your senses, this record will really blow you away. So pick up your copy (either by pre-ordering through the link below or at the band’s merch table on The Incubus Tour), put on your headphones and get lost in time and space, as The Funeral Portrait make you question all that you thought you knew about the afterlife. A Moment of Silence is out 12/16 via Revival Recordings and you can preview a few of the songs live on the aforementioned tour!
“Like Father Like Son” (Official Music Video)
“The Water Obeyed the Gravity” (Official Music Video)
The Funeral Portrait is:
Lee Jennings – Vocals
Juergie Landstrom – Guitar/Vocals
Chris King – Bass/Vocals
AJ Pekarek – Guitar
Stephen Danzey – Drums