This album, Funerary by Pulling Teeth, is in my humble opinion the best album released in 2011. I was toying with the idea of throwing in with a lot of other websites and doing a 'Best of 2011' list but seeing as it's so late in the year that I'm able to feature this album and seeing as this would be at the top anyway I'm ditching that idea. I've had this on a pretty heavy rotation since it came out at the start of the year and it never fails to blow me away. The first half of the record storms out of the gate in traditional PT style, but then makes some pretty progressive moves towards the final few songs. But it's never jarring, and it all gels together to make one overall fantastic experience listening to it.
This one time pressing of a 2x12" gatefold version of Funerary sold out at the pre-order stage back in May and I missed it. Released by A389 and limited to 250 on black.
Rather than order the standard version I thought I'd wait it out with the digital copy for company. It paid off, because recently A389 put some leftovers up in the rarities section of their store. The cover artwork (which is no different than the regular version) is brilliant and sticks to the theme and style laid down in past PT artwork, including that good old red tentacle / snake thing that appears on every one of their albums.
Good use of a gate-fold, more brilliant art. A nice touch is the center labels on the flip sides of both 12"s. Various members of the band lost family members during making the album and I'm assuming that these are old family photos. The album has a big dedication to the people who passed away and a lot of the subject matter focuses on it. It's a cool personal touch.
Hardcore album, metal album, progressive, psychedelic and daring. Hard to really define what it is accurately. But it's definitely not going to be beaten this year. Unless there's another album that's got a breakdown as good as the one in From Birth. Or another album with a ten minute epic sludge-doom track that features electronic walls of noise, ghostly choirs, sombre violin and vocal contributions from Dwid, Mike Apocalypse from Gehenna and Nick Fiction from Pale Creation. Doubt it...