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FUNERAL NATION
FUNERAL NATION
Open Wide The Gates Of Hell
(RK Productions)
72:25min

25 years ago a band from Chicago called FUNERAL NATION released a minor old school classic called "After The Battle", with a nice low-budget cover photo that clearly demonstrated their anti-Christian affiliation. It was perhaps a bit too late to effectively make a statement among the several SLAYER influenced bands of the time, but their sound clearly falls within that realm. The closest parallel invoked into my mind is HOBBS' ANGEL OF DEATH (I find FUNERAL NATION a bit too primitive to compare to, say, INFERNÄL MÄJESTY). Back then I got a hold of this blasphemous slab of Black / Death / Thrash vinyl, and I immediately felt the band did have something to their credit, playing direct, ballsy Metal with angry, heretic lyrics, much in the VENOM and POSSESSED style that was pretty much all that mattered in the world to me back then (I realise nothing changed for me there). And they did this instead of jumping on the Death Metal bandwagon that was then "converting" countless Thrash bands, so that has to be worth something. This leads us to the present album, "Open Wide The Gates Of Hell", released by the band's own label. It is in fact a remixed and remastered version of "Second Coming", a compilation from 2012 featuring their 1992 demo "The Benediction", the track 'Deceiver' from their 1994 "All Hallows Evil" 7" and some unreleased tracks. In this version you also have five bonus tracks at the end, recorded live and consisting of all the songs, in order, of "The Benediction" demo. The result is a solid, worthwhile work with some crushing Thrash, you must by now get the picture. Listen to scorcher tracks like 'Maniac' or 'Benediction Of Faith'... I could go on, truly all tracks are good... with many inspired riffs and not falling into repetition. Also because they didn't avoid melody; 'Encased In Glass', for example, begins almost as a Thrash ballad (minus tackiness), which is something you don't hear very often at all. So I gladly recommend this release and this band in general. It's great to see that some killer Metal acts of old are still undead and unburied. For all further information check out the following sites: www.funeralnationband.com, www.facebook.com/funeralnationband, http://funeralnation.bandcamp.com

Ricardo Campos

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