I know I’ve said something to this effect a time or few before, but we’ve really got something different for our loyal Vault Hunters here this morning. Personally, I’m not familiar with very many Singaporean black metal bands at all, which was enough by itself to convince me to give Kovan-based Funeral Hearse a listen.
However, as most of our regular readers are well aware, I’m also a total sucker for albums that draw inspiration from…let’s call them ‘unconventional sources.’ Funeral Hearse’s debut long-player In Devotion Of… definitely does that by paying homage to a title-known, small sect of ascetic Shiva sadhus called the Aghori.
For those who aren’t particularly well-versed in Hinduism, a bit of background: Shiva is one of the three principle gods in the Hindu pantheon, alongside Brahma and Vishnu. Also known as “The Destroyer,” it is believed that Shiva created the universe, and that he continues to transform and protect it. He is also the father of my favorite Hindu god, Ganesha. In one of his aspects, Shiva is depicted as an ascetic, or one who forgoes all sensual pleasures in order to live a more spiritual life.
The Aghori are only one type of sadhus, or ascetic monks, but what makes them unique is the fact that they engage in post-mortem rituals. More specifically, they tend to dwell in charnel grounds and perform rituals with human remains – covering themselves in crematory ashes, wreaking jewelry and drinking from cups made of human bones, etc. Many believe that the Aghori possess healing powers as a result of their lifestyle.
Over the course of the six tracks on In Devotion Of… lone member Azrael uses a foundation of second wave black metal and adds on elements of crust, hardcore, and the occasional more traditional-sounding elements. The result is a diverse mix of songs, and we have the pleasure of premiering one of them for you here today at the Vault. “Alternate State of Consciousness” is the album’s final track, and while I’m not certain whether In Devotion Of… is actually a concept album or not, it the song does feel like the culmination of a journey or cycle in more ways than one – the arrival at a new form of being after ‘Cleansing a Damned Soul” in the previous track.
In Devotion Of…will be available on March 1 from Spy Satellite Records. Grab a digital preorder here, and then check out “Alternate State of Consciousness” below.