Rose Funeral

Gates of Punishment

01. Legions of Ruination
02. Grotesque Indulgence
03. Beyond the Entombed
04. False Divine (ft. Steve Tucker)
05. Arise Infernal Existence
06. Malignant Amour (ft. Kate Alexander)
07. A Recreant Canticle
08. The Desolate Form
09. Entercism
10. Amidst Gehenna
11. Gates of Punishment

[09/27/11]
[Metal Blade]

Allow me to forewarn that this review will be quite short. It’s not because it’s a short album, but instead, there isn’t that much to say about it.  You’ll understand why I’ve said this prologue shortly.

I’ve never been a fan of Rose Funeral. Quite the opposite, actually, as I’ve found both their previous full-lengths to be rather terrible. They were very poor examples of deathcore – being both breakdown-lead and horribly generic – and while on this new release they suffer from a little bit of both, it’s actually considerably better than both albums previously released. However when I say it’s better, I don’t mean that it’s good, but rather, it’s not bad.

This album does nothing to reinvent the wheel, nor does it create warp-travel. More or less it just goes by the set blueprints of the hundreds of other bands before them. It’s entirely unoriginal. After listening to the album about four or five times I still could not sing to you a part from the album. There wasn’t a moment where I was completely and fully immersed in the music. It was just…boring. The band does have decent songwriting skills, but manage to ruin what they’ve constructed with breakdowns that make no sense in the piece they are building, which completely disrupts the memorability and the flow of not only the piece, but the whole record as well. The breakdowns single-handedly turn this record into a semi-above average death metal record into a below-average deathcore record.

However that’s not demeaning the musicians or the albums sonic quality. All the members of this band are quite talented. There are some ripping solos, cool riffs, vicious vocals, and probably some of the best drums I’ve heard in a while. The band also makes great use of Cincinnati opera singer Kate Alexander, who adds much-needed emotion to the record. The production is also top-notch, with nary a clip or a nuisance to be heard. However these elements in collaboration haven’t constructed an album that really made me go “wow.”

Gates of Punishment did not make me want to drink sulfuric acid; nor did it give me a feeling that I couldn’t have spent forty-four minutes any better. This album is just… here.  And for me, that’s just not acceptable.  I follow a certain adage: “It is better to destroy than to create what is meaningless.”  I believe here that this adage comes into play. I would’ve rather spent 44 minutes listening to something other than this – and when I get that feeling from a record, it’s just not good.

Rose Funeral’s Gates of Punishment gets…

2/5

– GR

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