Originally written by Jeremy Garner
For those of you who’ve been keeping track, this album has been sitting in my to-do pile for far too long. In a lot of ways though, I’m glad for the extensive time because this album has been pounded into my skull enough that I can truly appreciate everything that is going on. This one is a hell of a grower. What we have here is a half hour of true jaw clenching grinding extremity splayed over seventeen quality tracks. The Funeral March is hard pressed to disappoint.
In many ways, Gadget have meaningfully captured the essence of the Swedish grindcore style. They have the apparent ability of doing what everyone else is doing, but only better. By capitalizing on the trademarks of the genre while allowing for themselves to put their own unique death metal influenced grind take on what’s been done previously, Gadget have made an impressive name for themselves. The vitriolic blasting of “Bedragen” and “Tristessens Fort” mesh almost perfectly with steady groove of “H5N1”, “The Anchor”. Along with the undercurrent melodic sensibility and clever subtlety of “I am” or “Let the Mayhem Begin”, Gadget’s tour de force sound become nearly unstoppable
The substantially lengthy, doom-laden sections featured in the somber “Everyday Ritual” , “Out of Place”, and the climactic “Tingens Förbannelse” create a breathing and swelling tension that finds itself rather distant and in most cases in direct contrast from the nature of the straightforward ultraviolence conveyed by the vitriol of cuts like the initial assault of “Choked”, the caustic “God of Led”, the brevity of “Vagen Till Graven”, or the calculated fury of “Illusions of Peace.” Yet somehow these oft polarized and often contrary contexts of extremity find themselves bound by a peculiar tenacity and distinct level of ingenuity and intelligence that is absent in most of their peers. In effect, Gadget manage to incorporate enough classicism (and dare I say experimentation) to create a distinctively violent sound that leaves no room for cessation.
While the production has a noticeably condensed, and compact delivery to it compared to that of a band par usual like Deathbound, Gadget have gone in favor of one of the tightest deliveries I’ve ever heard in grindcore. The Funeral March allows ample moments for the abrasive dual vocals, artillery like sound of the drums, and the buzz saw Swedish style guitars to slowly envelope the listener into a pure daze of amazement. Though at times things can get a bit cluttered, the subtleties of Gadget’s style still manage to shine through the rapacious mayhem. In a lot of ways, the distinctive sound of The Funeral March reminds me rather heavily of Dim Mak in that it is wholly unusual for the genre, yet it still distinctively captures the particular style lending to an instantaneous recognition.
I’ve heard very little from their 2004 release Remote, but from what I am acquainted with, I can comfortably say that The Funeral March is one more step towards becoming the heir to the grindcore throne after the untimely departure of Nasum. Granted they have plenty of competition from the likes of Rotten Sound, they have avidly established themselves as one of the few leaders at the front of the grindcore pack these days. This is quite possibly the most well accomplished grindcore release of the year and easily a contender for becoming one of my personal favorite releases this year.