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From my humble beginnings in the sewer of metal, I had to claw my way into the underground by hanging out with creepy, older, Norwegian guys. But I learned much, yes I did. And one of the earliest black metal albums I heard was In The Sign, by Dark Funeral. From then I loved the band, but always thought there was something they could do differently. Well, when this record came out, I knew what it was.
This album has something about it that I just can't put my finger on. I know that it's a wonderful album in atmosphere, music and vocals, but there's something more. It's almost like a good concept album (which, in a way it is, like most black metal albums... it's about all things satanic and blasphemous). The smooth running just blew me away.
The only negative thing I can say about this album is that it could be just a little longer. Now, that sounds ignorant, considering the average length of black metal releases, but in reality I think they could've pulled a Dark Arts and had a couple more songs. It just feels like they were in the zone on this album, and cranking out one or two more could've only improved an awesome release.
The first song is amazingly executed with great precision and agression. The same with the second track, although it's probably the low point of the album as far as variety is concerned. The third track, an ode to sodomy, peaked my interest because of it's abnormal tempo. Rarely does a band of this aggression put out a song that includes such accessible drumming. I really enjoyed the guitar squealing at the end, equating a woman's orgasms. The fourth track, one of my all-time favorites, was the first I heard from the album, and, being the self-titled track, led me to seek it out in the first place. The second half of the album begins with "An Apprentice of Satan" which is another one of the all-time favorites, kicks off with another less-than-blasting intro, but soon tears down your expectations with a powerful blastbeat. The guitar riffs are face-melting, and the song as a whole just moves from one realm to another, searching for assholes to stomp. The rest of the album means nothing, because by this point, if you aren't a believer, then you've got no reason to own any black metal albums.
But, I will say that the final three tracks do not disappoint in anyway. Particularly Heart of Ice, with its creeping intro and it's equally crawly outro. All in all, this is a must for any black metal fan.