Awakening – CD // DD
Self Released – August 25th, 2017
Reviewed by Terry “The Ancient One” Cuyler
Jan Kimmel (El Janni) – Guitar, Nord, Vocals
Maurice Eggenschwiler – Guitar, Vocals
Cory Cousins – Drums
Gabriel Katz – Bass
Right now I’m sitting here at my laptop struggling put words together to describe what I just heard, and come right to the point rather than lose you in the lines of a long rambling review. Doing so will be difficult but I must try. Not too long ago I got a promo release of the new album “Awakening” by Blues Funeral, the band’s sophomore album.
As one who feels music rather than just hears it, playing what’s described by Blues Funeral as music influenced by “Early rock, proto-metal, jazz, classical, and things that make your skin crawl” this is definitely the kind of music that speaks to me. What impressed me most about “Awakening” was the whole package. The harmonious vocals, the lofty guitar leads with earthy rhythms and the drums that gives the music a heart. This music took me back to listening to the late nights listening rebroadcasts of “The King Biscuit Flower Hour” on the local Classic Rock station were I was schooled on rock as a teen.
“Awakening” is what I would call a new AOR (Album Oriented Record) classic. If you dig bands like “Deep Purple”, “Cream”, Led Zeppelin and The Allman Brothers then you are sure to dig this. The flow of the album renders you to listen to it in its entirety to let the sonic glory shower down and permeate into your being. These are the songs that stood out most for me:
‘Awakening,’ the albums title track sounds like kickass hybrid of a 60’s proto metal and classic 80’s metal song and establishes the band’s sound for the listener. Taking the lead guitarist and vocalist Maurice Eggenschwiler opens playing a soaring guitar lead in and is then followed by a soulful organ lead by electric organist, guitarist, and vocalist Jan Kimmel (El Janni). Throughout the song El Janni and Eggenschwiler play both competing and complimentary sounds that kept me waiting to hear what was next.
Track 4 ‘Firedrake’ blew me away. Featuring the vocals of Ms. Kelly Cousins with Lyrics by: Jan Kimmel. This song is inspired by “Cormac McCarthy’s ‘The Road” and speaks of hopes and aspirations in a post apocalyptic world. Full of organ, bluesy guitar riffs and leads; Eggenschwiler, El Janni, and Ms. Cousins are simply amazing. Refusing to let up Track 5 “Casimir” grabs the listener with lofty guitar and vocal leads, melodies, harmonies and rhythms. While Eggenschwiler and El Janni are as amazing in The closing track ‘The Gathering Dust’ drummer Cory Cousins, and bassist Gabriel Katz shine through. The riffs are sublime and hard hitting. A perfect way to finish this release in proper form…EXCEPTIONAL!!
Blues Funeral will be playing a CD release show on August 25th at White Oak Music Hall in Houston, Texas alongside Doomstress, Fiddle Witch and the Demons of Doom.