Saturday, May 9, 2015


When it comes to The Funeral and TheTwilight, every descriptor that comes to mind feels as if it should sit within quotation marks: "goth," "punk," "metal," "sludgy," "gloomy," ... Not in a negative way or as some dismissive commentary but to illustrate the disparity and strangeness of their music. I think the closest I ever came was "death doom jazz," because that phrase makes almost no sense at all.

My first encounters with TFATT were The Cross of St. Peter and Sullen Life /// Blighted Death. On first listen, I wasn't sure what I was hearing, but I knew I liked it. Something about it kept pulling me back in, and I thank Colin Johnson for the wink and "Yeah, bro. Let it hit ya" nudge. One night of wine paired with the records completely hooked me, and I haven't questioned the journey since.

Not everything we enjoy can be distilled down to something tangible, and I'm happier for that. There's definitely a bewitching and haunting feel to TFATT's music that plods its way through enormous tones and shattering vocals. Plod doesn't quite work though, as each song is awash in sultry, unexpected changes and surprising experimental moments that keep each song hanging by a thread. At the moment it feels like it might unravel, there's the occasional hook that somehow incorporates a poppiness or sinks into a oddly familiar groove. They're as challenging as they are mesmerizing. Bring all this to the stage, and TFATT is right where they need to be. Benjamin, Noah, and Brandon are a chaotic tidal wave of activity that's somehow synchronized or ritualized. The sound is penetrating with its woeful swagger, twisting and turning and never letting you go. Beautiful in their execution, once you think you've got a grasp on where the songs are going, TFATT will throw in a few grindcore bursts to suck you in further.

TFATT and Dead are touring together this summer, and we couldn't think of two better bands to represent both the diversity and the similarity of bands who have graced the Total Fest stages over the years.

"Let it hit ya"

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