without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
This is a re-release of Dark Funeral's and Infernal's first EPs, although I will focus on the Infernal material for this review . Infernal play fast, brutal black metal and with the four classic Dark Funeral songs from their legendary debut release, this split is a damn good example of excellent old-school Swedish Black Metal.
It's hard to describe Infernal's sound other than a faster, heavier and a more brutal version of early Dark Funeral (no doubt most likely due to David Parland's influence in the band ). Pretty good sound overall on all four songs as the two guitars and the drums can be heard clearly and individually. There are some damn good guitar riffs and solos on here, especially in Storms Of Armageddon and Wrath of the Infernal One, graciously supported by Matte Modin's blisteringly tight hyper blast beat drumming. This just rules, pure brutal black metal carnage from one of Sweden's most underrated band.
Highly recommended to any fans of old-school brutal black metal and Dark Funeral's early works.
Reissued as part of a split CD with Dark Funeral's first EP "In The Sign..." by Hammerheart Records, Infernal's self-titled first studio effort pretty much represents what we could expect from a band that directly descends from first-era Dark Funeral; just look at the line-up: Blackmoon and Themgoroth, both part of Dark Funeral 1993-1996, plus Matte Modin (nowadays in Dark Funeral) and Impious of In Aeternum.
This short but nice release is comprised of 4 intense tracks, all of them showcasing a very skillful technical level and excellent musicianship (as expected, considering the high level of the involved musicians), with very occasional slower breaks which however aren't much of a truce to the listener.
The opening assault, "Requiem (The Coming Age of Satan)", starts the sonic maelstrom at full pace from the first second, and right from the beginning comparisons with Dark Funeral are honestly inevitable. The prevalent use of minor only chords (and the use of such complete chords rather than two-string power ones), the supersonic beats and Themgoroth's "Sataaaan!!!" screams inevitably all point in Lord Ahriman's band's direction, although Infernal develope the musical context with their own taste.
The first noticeable difference is the minor depth of the guitar tone. More in detail: Dark Funeral's sound stands out thanks to the use of particular guitar chords and sounds which give the music a more "spacey" effect, almost like there were keyboards in the background. Not so much in Infernal, which definitely have a more raw and straight-in-your-face sound, although both bands use similar chord progressions. Secondly, Infernal uses faster speeds and faster chord changes, which also explain why they stick to the simpler and easier power chords more than Dark Funeral. Finally, the solos. Yes, there are solos, and although they end up sounding a bit too similar by the end of the records, they definitely add a new dimension to the music.
The rest of the tracklist continues in the vein of the title track, with none of the four offerings really standing out above the others; rather, the songs share a similar feeling which guarantees the record's own mood and sound (again, see Dark Funeral).
If you like Dark Funeral, chances are that you will like this EP too. It also makes a good listen for those who like raw and powerful Black Metal in general.
Of course Infernal are likely to have a bright future only by finding their own direction and stepping out of Dark Funeral's cumbersome shadow, but this shows a quite promising start nevertheless.