The Funeral March – Persephone

Posted: 29 March 2023 in Singles and EPs
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

17th March 2023

Christopher Nosnibor

This new EP from the bleakly-monikered The Funeral March is described as offering five tracks which ‘whisper of dreams, murmur of despair, cry out in madness, and reflect on hope and loss’, inspired by the Greek queen of the Underworld, Persephone, reflecting on the ‘transition between death and rebirth’.

We’re deep into the realms of heavy concept here, and such weighty topics warrant weighty music. The Funeral March certainly do themselves and their subject matter justice here.

It begins with pounding percussion and heavily effects-laden bass and guitars. I’m instantly reminded of Pornography-era Cure. It’s dense, heavy, intense. Hell, the first time I heard that album I could hardly breathe. It’s liked having your ribs stood on. The first time I heard music so suffocating was on being passed a tape of The Sisters of Mercy’s First and Last and Always and I was still indifferent to The Cure. It was Pornography that really hit me.

It’s that seem that The Funeral March are mining here. With that tumultuous drumming paired with a thick, thunderous bass, and the dark, murky theatricality of early Christian Death – completed with a dark and dirty production that sits between early 80s goth demo and black metal dirt – it’s a compelling and intense listening experience, with ‘Two As One’ proving particularly hellish in its claustrophobic density and ‘Kiss Me’ channelling the synth drone of ‘A Strange Day’ and doomy atmospheric of ‘Siamese Twins’.

The atmospheric ‘Nite Nite’ brings synths to the fore over the trebly mesh of guitar, providing variety of tone and texture not to mention a classic 80s feel, and drenched in reverb, J. Whiteaker’s vocals sound lost as if trapped between two worlds.

The final track, ‘Wasted Moon’, is again driven by a supremely thick bass and trudging beat that echoes beneath the murk. Whiteaker sounds desperate and anguished and you feel the pangs of panic rising.

Listening to Persephone is like being wrapped in a carpet and tossed in a car boot to be buried – not that I have first-hand experience of this, but it’s how I imagine the experience – and that sense of panic and entrapment, of feeling lost and alone is palpable, is real. It leaves you feeling tense, and hollowed out, emotionally drained. Powerful music isn’t about making you feel good, it’s about making you feel. Persephone is powerful and drives straight to the heart.



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