Bart M. : Three years after releasing their previous album 'Divinity For The Wicked', Texan rockers Funeral Horse are back with their latest effort: 'Psalms For The Mourning'. Again, a somewhat down-hearted title, but that should hardly come as a surprise in the world of heavy music. Furthermore, the music really lends itself for this kind of atmosphere.
The album starts off reasonably well: 'Better Half Of Nothing' definitely has its charming bits and interesting riffs, but the vocals and especially the brass section at the end come across as nothing particularly inspired. A nice start nonetheless, plus this also helps to make the next track come out even better than it would have done otherwise. 'No Greater Sorrow' is a slow and sad song that offers a combination of dark blues and stoner riffs that gently transport the listener to a dreary basement somewhere in the collective head of Funeral Horse. At some times it reminds me of Masters Of Reality (the band), which is always a good thing, especially because this band gives that sound its own spin. After this epistle the band are on a roll and we hear one original song after another, ranging from the touching 'Emperor Of All Melodies' to the much faster and pounding 'Sacrifice Of A Thousand Ships'. The sense of humor of these gentlemen becomes evident in closing song 'Evil Knievel Blues'. Not just the title will generate a smile, but also the way that the Bluegrass (blues) is portrayed. It is nice to see a band making good, serious music and having a lot of fun doing that.
'Psalms For The Mourning', with its solid and rich rock 'n roll sound, is clearly another step forward in the evolution of Funeral Horse. The album starts off easily digestible, and closes in much the same way, but everything in between is heavy, brooding and needs time to settle. It is like eating a hamburger that is made out of a soft, modest bun at top and bottom, and sludgy, doomy layers of nutritional stoner metal in between.