The Funeral Portrait
A Moment of Silence
A Moment of Silence is one of those releases that come out of nowhere and have the potential to blow a band up. Interestingly, The Funeral Portrait’s debut full-length stacks the deck against the band before pressing play, only to obliterate negative impressions right away. This a concept record about life after death in an afterlife devoid of the God and Heaven the protagonist was anticipating. Oh, and the band plays a theatrical style of post-hardcore that has been compared to My Chemical Romance. No offense to that band, but too many groups have tried to recreate MCR’s style and absolutely bombed, and a concept record is a daunting task for a debut.
So it is with great pleasure that I can report that A Moment of Silence exceeds any reasonable expectations. The band’s style finds influence all over the place, referencing the post-hardcore of yesteryear with MCR and Hawthorne Heights, some of Muse’s soaring riff-y theatrics, and a hearty dose of early Protest the Hero and Coheed and Cambria. The ability to make hooky, heavy post-hardcore concept records is reminiscent of Silverstein at times, too. The result is something that, while not exactly proggy, could fit in prog rock/post-hardcore bills with their ambition. The album never falls under the weight of its ambitions, and the narrative helps drive the more emotional moments with aplomb. It doesn’t hurt that tunes like “Cerulean”, “Double Helix”, and “The Water Obeyed the Gravity” highlight how the band imparts their own flair into prog and post-hardcore templates. The neat little licks and vocal melodies are just immaculate, and tunes like these are not the norm for debut records.
Not quite everything works, as a few vocal melodies and compositions fall just a tad flat in comparison (see the overlong “Save Yourself” and “To Whom It May Concern”), but those letdowns are few and far between. They’re quite excusable for a debut, too. This is a Hell of a record that should leave listeners even more excited for what’s to come.