Album review: MARCH 15 – Our Love Becomes A Funeral Pyre

Svart Records – Out Now.

Sami Albert “Witchfinder” Hynnien is a much loved figure, especially in the Doom Metal scene, as, under the Reverend Bizarre moniker, he recorded some of the catchiest, dirtiest and, face it, funniest compositions of said genre.

Somewhere between the release of Doom Metal gems like “In The Rectory Of The Bizarre Reverend” (2002) and “II: Crush The Insects” (2005), Sami decided to invest his time and energy in a project much different in style and feel.

March 15 provided the Finn with the opportunity to satisfy certain artistic needs had no place in Reverend Bizarre and it is the only EP from that project, 2004’s “Our Love Becomes A Funeral Pyre”, with the addition of three newer compositions, that Svart Records has decided to make available in a strictly limited edition vinyl format.

Now, I hope you’re not one of these Reverend Bizarre fans who pre-ordered this EP on the strength of Albert’s name alone as you’re in for some massive disappointment here. Why?

Well, rather than being filled this groovy guitar riffs and Albert’s unusual but inspiring vocals, “Our Love Becomes A Funeral Pyre” is instead a collection of five tracks which aim to test the listener’s nerves through layers upon layers of painful feedback, incomprehensive background screams and lyrics of a childish/annoying/insulting nature.

Listening to these five tracks has been a pretty painful experience for me and I really struggle to come up with anything really positive to say about them! The same-titled “Our Love Becomes A Funeral Pyre” operated with a monotonous guitar feedback effect that borders on the schizophrenic, totally burying the remaining elements.

“No Love Lost” finds the band attempting to present something interesting with the use of eerie other-worldly sounds, but to no avail, while “Claustrophilic Love of The Warm Dark Places” introduces more unwelcomed feedback into the fold as well as some truly graphic/nonsensical vocal narratives.

The six minute “The Love That Dares Not Speak Its Name” is sadly more of the same and the nine minute “Love Under Will”, though not as aurally insulting as its predecessors, is nevertheless pretty unimpressive.

I have always been the first person to offer my support to any band that’s willing to work on new and challenging ideas and that is the reason why albums from Mekong Delta, Psychotic Waltz, Coroner and Watchtower hold prominent positions in my record collection.

Well, March 15 is not such a band and “Our Love Becomes A Funeral Pyre” ought to be avoided by fans of quality music like the plague.

I am baffled by Svart Records’ decision to release this abomination – thank god it’s only limited to 315 copies.

What a waste of time.

John Stefanis

Rating: ** (2.0/5.0)



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