Wolverhampton’s FUNERAL THRONE are a rising force of UKBM, ZT spoke to bassist/vocalist S.:
ZT: Please briefly introduce the readers to Funeral Throne.
Funeral Throne began as a thrice-headed beast; born from the corrupted soil of the West Midlands – the birthplace and one-time ‘home’ of Heavy Metal. We play Heavy Metal that is Blackened by Death.
Initiated in 2005, we have grown to become a notoriously bloody and violent live entity, sharing the stage with a number of influential acts. Our debut album ‘Nihil Sine Diabolvs’ was released through SatanasRex/Cold Spring in 2008. Material for our second album is currently being recorded.
ZT: To many there cannot be black metal without satanic ideology. Do you consider yourself a Satanist, and if so what path do you follow? If not, do you follow any other ideology?
The term ‘Satanist’ feels at once stiflingly specific and yet too vague. You need to open your mind. We praise the Darkness; the Night. It has many faces and many hands that point in all directions. Those who feel it clutching for their soul will understand what this means. This is what drives me – an insatiable hunger for the unknown and the beyond.
We don’t follow a specific order; we are all individuals for want of a better term. Yet we are united on an almost unspoken level. Our paths join at points along the way. These past few years have been about growth and we are coming to a place where we know who we are.
For me, Black Metal and the great darkness are inseparable. For others, this is not the case. We do not concern ourselves with a ‘flowery’ paganism, or other trends like that. In our years together we have seen many bands come and go, and more disquietingly we have seen many continue and shift between ideologies and genres. We have always played to the Devil’s tune. And we always will. This is something that has gained us a lot of respect from people who also stick to their guns.
ZT: Could you reveal to us the lyrical themes covered?
Most recently (over the last few years of writing for our new album) they have all centred on the ideas of exploration and personal journeys. Keys found, doors unlocked. Growth. The Occult. Drug use. Self harm. All sorts.
The new material, in a way, acts as a document of this journey, acknowledging where we have come from and where we are now – spiritually, ideologically, musically…
Most of the material on the first album was written before I was 17, so naturally a lot has altered in the intermittent years. We have come a long, long way and this is more than clear in how we sound and how we play live now. To quote our latest material – “Our new birth is coming.”
ZT: What bands have influenced you most?
There are probably far too many to mention here and what would be gained from it? We listen to all sorts. We are ‘influenced’ by sharing the stage with honest bands who give it their all, and in who’s eyes one can see truth burning. The rest rightfully fall by the wayside, forgotten.
ZT: How did you record the new demo ‘Victory’? Are you happy with the release?
We are more than happy with the material. Structurally they are the best songs we have written. Lyrically, they express a lot of what we have learned and what our attitude now is. The two demo tracks were recorded a little while ago by ourselves and were mastered by a friend. As always, listening back shows us that there are alterations we would make. Luckily, these tracks will feature on our next album and we are in the process of recording them again. This time with no triggers, for example, and the drum kit sounds immense and best of all, natural. We have achieved a huge sound by recording it ourselves.
ZT: What are your thoughts on today’s UK metal scene?
I guess I can only speak with regards to the Black/Death/”Extreme” Metal scene as these are the only shows I go to and the only scene I am a part of. It must be said that when we began we felt alone but we liked this feeling. It meant that we had something to prove and it hardened us. We wouldn’t be the same band if this hadn’t have happened.
Today there seem to be quite a few quality bands based around the whole of the UK and no one band sounds the same. This is great. Having played for a few years now we’ve spilled blood with a number of bands, many of who have become allies. There is quality in the UK Black/Death scene and lots of honest individuals who want to prove that decent Metal can still come from this damned island.
Many of the bands are in regular contact with each other, organising and promoting shows together. It feels good to be alive in this underground – perhaps oddly made special by knowing that we are almost the ‘underdogs’. There is still a lot to prove to the rest of the world and for this we are thankful. We are still lone wolves in many respects and we like our position in the UK ‘scene’. We will fight for it, spilling yet more blood and with a continuing hunger.
ZT: Funeral Throne will play the BlackDeath Assault on the 4th of December. Are you looking forward to the gig? What can we expect from a Funeral Throne live appearance?
London is always a pleasure. The crowds are large and hungry. Usually drug-fuelled and beer addled, they will be overripe from the rich abundance of gigs that have graced their city in the last year. We are going to harvest them as the cold darkness of another year’s death descends.
The line-up is one the strongest the UK has perhaps ever seen in terms of talent spawned from its own womb. We will be seeing friends from bands we have gigged with before but are most looking forward to the bands we have no experience of.
Our latest set showcases new material, a few old tunes and a special cover. Expect blood and fury. From the dark and terrible through to the beautiful and sublime. Big Smoke. Big Fire!
ZT: What can we expect in the future from Funeral Throne A full-length perhaps?
Yes. The doors are currently locked and recording for the next full-length has finally begun. It has been a lengthy process for a variety of reasons but now is the beginning of the end. All our love and devotion is being poured into this record and it is clearly audible. The songs are made even stronger by the fact that we are handling recording and mastering ourselves. The drum kit is natural (no triggers!) and sounds massive yet clear and the guitars are heavy as lead yet they shine like gold.
Our Heavy Metal heritage has played a pivotal role in our approach to recording. We are taking hints from Midland’s masterpieces such as Sabbath’s ‘Mob Rules’ and other great records from the past. This truly is our new birth and we can guarantee that it will sound nothing like what you would expect.