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When i happened to come across this EP down at one of my local record stores, I immediately thought to myself, "I must buy this now!". It was at a fair price of AUS$20, so i purchased it not knowing that there was only the one original Dark Funeral song.
Emperor Magus Caligula's vocals are amazing on the first track, An Apprentice Of Satan (the one original Dark Funeral song) and the drumming capabilities of Gaahnfaust are at top notch. Lord Ahriman and Dominion are also both excellent on this track. Well all in all Dark Funeral do a great job over the entire EP, but An Apprentice Of Satan is my favourite track.
Now the next four tracks were the four cover songs which i wasnt aware of, until noticing on the record who they were written by. I am a huge King Diamond, Slayer and Mayhem fan (i also like Sodom but haven't heard much of their stuff), so i was eager to listen to how well they would pull off the covers.
The first three were awesome! Although it was a tad disapointing that they had to use a session guitarist, Larsa was rutheless threw out. The final track, Pagan Fears, wasnt as good as the previous four tracks but still a great cover of the all mighty black metal sensation Mayhem.
All in all this is a great peice of work by Dark Funeral and something that would be an excellent purchase if you were to come across it.
I bought this EP (at a ridiculous price, if I remember rightly) only knowing one song in it's original form (Dead Skin Mask by Slayer), so I had to take this on its own terms, as if it was all Dark Funeral originals. Not knowing the other three covers seems to have worked out as they feel like great, heavy black metal songs, while the one I did know comes out a bit disappointing!
An Apprentice Of Satan, the one original, is a good, standard fare black metal track. Blisteringly heavy - good riff there, I think - but probably not the best thing you've heard in your life. The video of this song that comes on the CD feels a bit pointless, nice pigs heads at the end but otherwise not much. It ain't live, btw - the music is straight off the CD and I swear I remember the guitarists being out of synch with the music!
The Trial uses cool vocal arrangements and has one nice solo, although this in itself is cause for concern - I find it worrying that Dark Funeral require a session player to do the solos, and they can't do them themselves. Don't seem right...but, anyway, this guy is good ^_^
Dead Skin Mask is, as I said, not as good as the original...solo's a bit lacking and it's all a bit abbreviated from the original (a good minute and a bit shorter). The last two songs rectify things, Remember The Fallen slogs along, great chorus (so simply but utterly memorable!) while Pagan Fears merely slogs along ear-bleedingly. Satisfying stuff.
Someone more clued up about King Diamond, Sodom and Mayhem would be needed to compare the quality of covers to originals, but if you ask me Dark Funeral did a fine job and they can't have done anything offensive to the songs!