Nov 182011

(Austin Slagle-Knauss turns in this guest post, reviewing the most recent album by Ohio’s Rose Funeral.)

“I’ve touched the hand of god and crushed in his fucking teeth…” That is my hands-down favorite lyric from any sort of satanic music. I wish there were another way to represent satanic music, because it seems anything that has the word “satanic” in it creates a terrible first impression on people. At first glance, you would think the metal community would react differently, and it does to a certain degree. But time and time again, I talk to people about satanic metal and they brush me off like it’s a joke. Trust me, it’s no joke and Rose Funeral proves why.

Rose Funeral is out of Cincinatti and have been creating stellar death metal since 2006. They released their demo Buried Beneath the Bloodshed that year and followed it with the EP Crucify.Kill.Rot. That’s when I first heard them. This is the EP that got them signed to Siege of Amida Records (my personal favorite European label), who chose to re-release it with new artwork. At the time this EP came out, I was still in high school and my musical tastes had not yet fully “developed”. Being young and dumb, I wrote them off as just another death metal band  and went on to listen to experimental grindcore or some other obnoxious shit that would piss off my teachers.

I didn’t cross paths with RF again until November of last year. I was on a CD-buying rampage and in the midst of that I got my hands on their second full length CD, The Resting Sonata. I got this at the same time as I acquired The ContortionistExoplanet, The Acacia StrainWormwood, The Tony Danza Tapdance ExtravaganzaDanza 3, and DEPOption Paralysis. The Resting Sonata got pushed to the end of the line for a few months.

One spectacularly stressful day I happened to put on The Resting Sonata. That is when the Rose-Funeral-sized hole in my heart grew. This album is full of a pure, punishing, raw sound that I rarely find in metal today. This album focuses on being “heavy”, with lots of chugging and breakdowns, which doesn’t bother me; in fact, I kind of prefer it, although there is a growing dislike of that style in the community. But even if you don’t like chugging and breakdowns, just listen to “Buried Beneath” and tell me if it doesn’t illicit some emotional response.

Enough of the old, now let’s talk about the new. The opening track on Gates of Punishment, “Legions of Ruination”, shows how I imagine an Illuminati meeting would start in the caves of a cliffside mansion before it proceeds to then punch you in the neck with tasty death metal goodness.

The band have really stepped up their performance with each new release. The guitar work in paticular has grown to soaring new heights. The solos in Gates of Punishment are bright and happy, while retaining the hard edge. Guitarist Jimmy Snook sounds like he genuinely had fun recording his guitar parts. It’s still satanic death metal, but it’s not as dark and doom-y as their previous efforts.

Now, I know alot of you are going to dismiss RF as simply another deathcore act, but I disagree. This is a death metal band that utilizes certain deathcore tools. I believe they have the power to lead a new American satanic death metal movement, and that would be amazing to see, as deathcore and djent are mainly at the front of the scene right now. Just listen to “Beyond the Entombed”.

A few more notes about the band:

In 2008, Rose Funeral switched labels and signed with Metal Blade. Their Facebook page is here. Also, as an interesting side note, vocalist/guitarist Ryan Gardner has a pop/punk side project by the name of Hello From the Stars.


  1. “Satanic death metal”? Please.

    They sound like they learned everything about religion/spirituality from the pages of Kerrang!

    It’s such a childish attempt at rebellion with no brains or conviction behind it.

  2. “I know alot of you are going to dismiss RF as simply another deathcore act”


    Look, dont take what Im about to say as anything more than my opinon. Music is personal and each to their own.If you get something out of this band, thats great.

    Personally, Ive heard nothing from this band that sets them apart from the upteen other deathcore bands out there. They combine the worst parts of The Black Dahlia Murder with a bunch of open string breakdowns to create a sense of “heaviness” in their music. Throwing in a some anti-chrisitian lyrics to give themselves an edge dosnt make them any more impressive.

    If you want some anti-christian death metal, the U.S does just fine. Immolation are better song writers, Incantation are much nastier sounding, and Deicide are far more blasphemous.

  3. You keep misspelling the band name. It’s Rose fUNOral.

  4. deathcore != death metal

    And these guys are utterly generic deathcore.

    • I would actually say that “Deathcore” DOES = “Death Metal”, just a certain variant of it. It’s just been ghetto-ised by the name to protect the interests of the “true”.

  5. All very valid opinions i’m just glad you took the time to read it. I still have very juvenile tastes in music and deathcore and bands like RF are still fascinating to me.

    • On the other hand, you handle criticism very maturely, which is commendable. I’m impressed. 🙂

      • I have enough things to worry about in life. I don’t worry need to freak if people don’t like the music i do. This is a creative outlet i’m trying to explore.

  6. One thing that is hurting you is your severe mislabeling. This isn’t even CLOSE to being death metal by any stretch of the imagination and EVERYTHING you’ve ever shown me is deathcore.

    • For the most part completely true. But I strongly disagree that Exotic Animal Petting Zoo is deathcore and I showed you them.

    • ^ I’d like to qualify this by saying that Iz likes deathcore (and I like some of it too, just to make it clear), and is merely having issue with your tagging/genre-labelling. Which while often misused, DOES have its uses.

      It’s not remotely Satanic though.

    • I’m the first to say that i’m terrible with labeling bands. Next review I write i’m going to try to not label the music at all.

  7. And the fact Rose Funeral does not particularly stand out. Especially when put up with heavyweights like Aegeon

  8. Ok. So. I listen to RF. Sadly an event involving touring & uno caused them to get mocked unfortunately… Great band. As the other stated. Great job taking criticism.

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