Funus, the brainchild of songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ruben Vermeulen, has once again delved into the kaleidoscope of emotions with his project’s latest full-length release, “MONO,” unveiled in 2023. The record follows in the footsteps of the 2016 album “Adrift Alone,” expanding on its thematic depth while simultaneously pushing the boundaries of the emotions previously explored.
The opening track, “Gloom and Dusk,” lives up to its name by incorporating doom-rooted elements while maintaining a multi-layered complexity. Here, Funus skillfully navigates the dichotomies of the divine and the primal, the raw and the refined, and the hideous and the beautiful. The result is a sonic exploration that seeks to unveil the complexities at the core of the human experience.
The subsequent track, “Would You,” takes a more introspective turn, dialing down the intensity to embrace a fractured form of shoegaze. This piece, alternately hypnotic and jarring, showcases Vermeulen’s ability to traverse dynamic landscapes within the confines of a single composition. “Soul Faced” further exemplifies this versatility, with the musician delving into riff territory and creating mood swings that establish it as a centerpiece of the album. The interplay between wailing chord vamps and gentle vocals creates a tension that ultimately leads to a climax that transcends the sum of its parts.
What sets Funus apart is their refusal to merely dwell in darkness; instead, Vermeulen views it as an integral part of the overarching light that encompasses all aspects of existence. “MONO” is not a descent into obscurity but an exploration of the shadows that give depth to the luminosity. Each track serves as a stepping stone, revealing layers of emotion and sound that contribute to the album’s overall narrative.
As the journey through “MONO” concludes, the listener is left with a deep sense of satisfaction, but it also signals the beginning of another chapter. The album, featuring a diverse range of tracks such as “Embracings Relived,” “Orb of Inner Voices,” “Never Heard,” and the expansive “On Unknown Wings,” offers a holistic experience that invites the audience to immerse themselves in the ever-evolving musical landscape of Funus. With “MONO,” Funus continues to defy genre constraints and invites listeners to embark on a profound exploration of the human psyche through a sonic lens.
With each track, Funus invites us to confront our own inner demons and embrace the light that shines through, reminding us that even in the bleakest moments, there is hope and beauty to be found.
With "MONO," Funus continues to defy genre constraints and invites listeners to embark on a profound exploration of the human psyche through a sonic lens.