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"Astral Mantras Of Dyslexia" (CD)

Funeral In Heaven - "Astral Mantras Of Dyslexia" CD cover image

"Astral Mantras Of Dyslexia" track listing:

Funeral In Heaven:
1. Transmigrations into Eternal Submission (Of Altered Consciousness)
2. Bandhana
3. Buddhang Saranang Thapas

Plecto Aliquem Capite:
4. Lament
5. Stoned Guru Ramblings
6. Cemetery of the Deep

Funeral In Heaven/Plecto Aliquem Capite:

Crestfallen: Immolating Shakthi

Reviewed by on February 27, 2012

"Funeral In Heaven proves, if anything, that they are as solid as ever, and Plecto Aliquem Capite is one of the most original noise bands to come out in a long time."

Finally, Chathuranga Fonseka and his band Funeral In Heaven have put out the long-awaited "Astral Mantras of Dyslexia" split album, whose song clips have been circulating for a while now on various sites. This split album they do is with fellow Sri Lankan band Plecto Aliquem Capite, each band delivering three songs and culminating the release with a seventh track they collaborate on.

For the uninitiated, Funeral in Heaven play "hela black metal," a very unique-sounding eastern/pagan metal that genuflects to the deities, culture and individual sounds of Sri Lanka. The three songs are all epic dirges, clocking in at double-digit lengths. "Transmigrations into Eternal Submission (Of Altered Consciousness)" is infinite droning of eastern-infused sounds including native percussion, violin, sitar and other hypnotic elements. "Bandhana" ups the energy for another 12 minutes with muffled background caterwauls that sound like a tortured holy man. The way Funeral In Heaven builds the rhythm in the song is solid. About six minutes into this epic tune, a mantra starts getting recited to stringed instruments accenting it here and there.

Sometimes the endless loop of droning gets redundant, but that's pretty much the nature of long dirge tracks. "Buddhang Saranang Thapas" starts with a flourish of percussion that gives way to the vocalist having a coughing fit just like "Sweet Leaf." This is probably the closest that Funeral In Heaven comes to a doom/sludge sound with its heavy lo-fi leads. This song utilizes more vocals than the others with ubiquitous chanting and a growling chorus. Funeral In Heaven, if anything, has stayed true to its pristine musical course since the last album they put out.

As the fourth song gets underway, it's Plecto Aliquem Capite doing a stringed instrument paean, "Lament," to open its portion of the album. Then the track "Stoned Guru Ramblings" drops. The sound bite at the beginning sounds like a real shaman at a religious/LSD experience with its completely schizophrenic babbling. It reminds me of these ceremonies where the orations turn into a complete frenzy. Add to it the total auditory madness of blood-curdling screams and a guitar that sounds like a chainsaw. The result is the craziest song I have ever heard, something like one would feel after mixing too many drugs - like the Butthole Surfers to the fourth power.

The noise music and madness does not end there, either. "Cemetery of the Deep" stares into hell once again with a stoner doom intro and a native-sounding xylophone loop. The vocalist sounds like a rabid hyena on the verge of a nervous breakdown as the sludge riffs descend into a nice lull, only to come back for another beating. Plecto Aliquem Capite has taken native influences and blended them into the most disturbing black metal/noise songs imaginable.

Both bands conclude the album with "Crestfallen: Immolating Shakthi," which combines both of their sounds through its myriad of time changes. Funeral In Heaven proves, if anything, that they are as solid as ever, and Plecto Aliquem Capite is one of the most original noise bands to come out in a long time. Their sound is highly unsettling, and that's a good thing.

Highs: Very original pagan metal from two distinctly different bands

Lows: Some redundancy through tracks that have epic lengths

Bottom line: "Astral Mantras of Dyslexia" is worth the attention of anyone wanting to discover a very interesting take on black/noise metal.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)