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Spreading death and decay - 91%

Pestbesmittad, November 12th, 2006

Hellish, rough and even somewhat melancholic black metal is what Black Funeral play on their debut. Most people seem to prefer “Empire of Blood” but I find this album to be darker and more evil. The sound is better than on the demo/EP but still far from polished. The bass is very loud in the mix, perhaps too loud. Then again it’s always nice to hear a black metal band with an audible bass, so I’m not going to complain too much about that.

The music has developed since the demo, it’s more varied and not so typically Nordic sounding either. I’d describe the music as a mixture of the Black Legions bands and Nordic black metal (at least Burzum comes to mind here and there). The Baron himself described Black Funeral’s music as “Grim Medieval Vampiric Black Metal” and I must say that this description fits the music like a glove. “Vampyr – Throne of the Beast” makes me think of blood rituals, desecrated graveyards and rats gnawing on the bones of corpses. It has an atmosphere of decay to it, like something that’s been locked up in a coffin for hundreds of years before it’s let out again to spread death and disease.

The Baron also managed to develop his own characteristic vocal style and here he’s in fine form, sounding very possessed even if the vocals aren't as high-pitched as they used to be. Desolate Wings of Demoncy has contributed two ambient pieces to this album (“Valley of the Shadow” and “Spirit of the Werwolf”) and these tracks give me the feeling of some old Graveland demos, great! This album should appeal to all devotees of morbid and sick black metal. I think “Vampyr – Throne of the Beast” is Black Funeral’s finest hour.