At a time when most of us find ourselves floating aimlessly in uncertainty, The Funeral Portrait is here to ground us once more. Abandoning formulaic writing for versatility, their newest record A Moment Of Silence is jam-packed with operatic melodies, tastefully wild instrumental licks, impassioned screaming, and weightless, effortless surprise in sudden shifts and transitions between movements- a true testament to artistry in this oversaturated and regurgitated modern static age.
A Moment Of Silence isn’t just an engaging album in terms of dark near-euphoric sonic dynamicism- the album also displays a more dangerous and honest side of The Funeral Portrait’s musicality in its mildly-unsettling (to some) subject matter- the storytelling of one man’s journey through the afterlife.
Guitarist/Vocalist Landstrom expounded on the themes of this album: “In this universe there is eternity after death, but there is no god and there is no heaven. This man has been told his entire life that when he died, he would be greeted by God at the gates of heaven. Now he must drift and observe, waiting for the truth to reveal itself.”
With The Funeral Portrait’s release of A Moment Of Silence, we’re pleased to say- for the first time- that we’ve never been so thrilled to be drifting in the unknown.
That’s why we’re overjoyed and thrilled to present to your eyes and ears the official track-by-track breakdown of A Moment Of Silence, as told by the band themselves! As always, each track is embedded for your better listening and reading experience. We sincerely hope you enjoy this as much as we do!
“A Moment Of Silence”
The first track on the record establishes the universe in which this story takes place. In this world, when someone passes away, they ascend upward into the atmosphere where they are greeted by their greatest fear, silence. They encounter the absence of a god and heaven and instead travel outward from Earth into the dark void of space. This is where the main character, a recently deceased spirit, enters the story. “It emerged from beneath the blackest of oceans, a hideous creature of biblical proportions: silence.”
“The Water Obeyed The Gravity”
This song describes the character’s realization that what they have been told their entire life is far from the truth. Their religious leaders have ensured an afterlife with God in heaven, but that dream has just fallen apart. The character is asking himself if having a predetermined fate eliminates meaning and self-actualization from life. The song also asks why the people with religion have an “exoskeleton” of hope and faith and the rest are left without protection from fear. “A calculated fate conceals meaning above all.”
At this point in the story, the character is literally rising up toward the heavens. He is praying that his ascent will end soon, and that his loved ones still remember him. He has lost his faith and discovered the truth. “What lies beyond the moon is not the heaven that they told me it would be.”
This song speaks to the idea that those who established this man’s religion decided the fate of everyone in the world and that the concept is unfair to all humans and their pursuit of meaning and individuality. “They chose to split the sky in two, one half for me and one for you.”
“The Fear Of God”
“Like Father, Like Son”
This song demonstrates the relationship that the character had with God and how it is falling apart. He’s desperately trying to connect with his god, but no one is there. “With the house collapsing over us, oh god, he won’t wake up.”
The character has realized that he doesn’t need a god to carry on and endure his existential crisis. This is the most difficult obstacle he has ever had to overcome, but he reminds himself that he never had a god looking after him in the first place. He is strong enough to do this alone. “Picture if you will, clawing at the wall beside an open door…”
The character is now passing Orion, the hunter. This song is about accepting who you are and understanding that no matter the contents of your DNA, you are an individual with meaning and value. “Programmed into our very being, we’re trapped inside the double helix.”
This song is the character realizing that not everyone can endure the truth and the great feeling of isolation that comes with it. He needs his emotional strength now more than ever. He submits to the truth and goes all in on his abandonment of faith. “Lost in time, bereft of feeling, I’ve decided to let them take me. Save yourself.”
“Appeal To Reason”
In this track we find out something about the character’s past. The song is about two lovers and the conversation they have to decide if they want a child or not. One wants to have a child, and one does not. They deeply regret the decision they made, and walk in front of oncoming traffic, leaving a child alone without parents. Is this how the character died? Or is the orphaned child our protagonist? I haven’t decided, nor will I ever. “The blood was thicker than the water of the womb.”
“To Whom It May Concern”
This song tells of the character’s significant other who is still mourning his passing. The two complete each other, but will never be together again, though the character swears otherwise. “She longs for a second set of hands playing along at her grand piano. I’d give her mine if it weren’t for the distance between her and I.”
The character is nearing the end of his journey; he can feel it. God has abandoned him, so he has abandoned God. When the universe is at its darkest and the character has finally come to terms with the truth about God and heaven, he sees a spark. “Effervescent, gleaming from the dark, there came a spark.”
The truth has finally revealed itself, and the purpose for the character and his journey is explained in this song. Though it isn’t mentioned on the entire record until this important song, when someone dies in this universe, they float outward from Earth into space for however long it takes to come to terms with the fact that there is an afterlife, but there is no god or heaven. When one finally accepts this, they ignite, creating a star that shines down on Earth to be with their loved ones once again. The concept album uses one man’s story and journey to illustrate an origin story for the stars in the night sky. “Forward, into the darkened sky, a light will shine for all of time, and all will know that they are golden.”
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