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Dark Funeral > Diabolis Interium > Reviews
Dark Funeral - Diabolis Interium

Where things start to go bad... - 55%

Slater922, March 3rd, 2022
Written based on this version: 2001, CD, No Fashion Records

First of all, let me make something clear: If you like Dark Funeral's albums from the 2000s, then that's okay. Music is subjective at the end of the day, and there's nothing wrong with liking those albums. For me, however, I don't have a lot of good things to say about this decade of Dark Funeral. While some would argue that the band has always been bland and generic, I'd personally say that the generic tropes that Dark Funeral is associated with truly began to show with their third album "Diabolis Interium". The album as a whole isn't terrible or anything, but at the same time, it's not the first album I'm gonna put on if I'm in a black metal mood.

One of the biggest changes here is the instruments, which is immediately shown in the first track "The Arrival of Satan's Empire". The guitars plays some standard black metal riffs, which sound okay, but they do feel like something we've seen in the previous two albums, just without any of the creativity. The drums are in similar quality to Vobiscum Satanas, which sounds good, but the beat patterns here are nearly identical to that of the last record, and don't really do anything special. As for the bass, it's easily the worst instrument on here. It's there, but it doesn't really do anything special, and it makes the foundation of the track feel flat and boring. Now, I try to avoid using the term "norsecore" to describe black metal bands in the likes of Marduk or Tsjuder, but this album is basically the textbook definition of norsecore, where 90% of the album is filled with blastbeats, noisy guitar riffs, and weak basslines. And it's not like with Marduk that does something interesting or unique with this style of black metal. This is basically black metal if it was being played as elevator music. As for any actual highlights in the instrumentals, I guess "Heart of Ice" is the best, since its atmosphere is more epic and melodic, but that's at the end of the album. Even if the previous two albums had some norsecore elements (which I'd argue otherwise), they weren't this "in-your-face" about the style like here.

But if you think the vocals can salvage the boring instruments, think again. Emperor Magus Caligula does the vocals on here again, and there really isn't much change in his vocal performance. He still does his high-pitched shrieks like in the previous album, but that becomes a problem when combined with the instrumentals on here. Take the track "Goddess of Sodomy" for example. The track takes on a more dark and angry tone compared to the other tracks, but not only do the instruments fail at adding any suspense in the atmosphere, but Magus Caligula also fails to reflect that. If his voice was deeper and utilized some more growls, then I guess it could work, but the shrieks he does are more fitting to some rawer and emotional material. However, Magus Caligula can still occasionally do some good vocals, especially in the track "Diabolis Interium", where he shows a more insane personality that does flow decently with the instruments. Otherwise, his lack of change in the vocals makes his shrieks feel a bit out-of-place with the aggressive norsecore riffs.

And then there's the lyrics. You remembers how there were some cheesy lyrics in the previous album? Well imagine an album mainly made up of those lyrics? Well that's basically this album, and to see what I mean, check out this verse from the track "An Apprentice of Satan":

A sigh echoes through the woods.
Like a winter storm it spread through the maze.
When she's finally embraced by the darkness.
That she has finally welcomed into her life!


This verse is about a woman embracing darkness as she becomes an apprentice for Satan himself. With the way the story is played out here, it seems like a bit of an exaggeration, especially with some rather bloated descriptions of the events that feel like they're trying to make the story as epic as possible, but it ends up falling flat. Furthermore, the instrumentals and vocals don't pair well with the lyrics very well. The track goes for a more epic tone as a way to make the story feel more grand, but again, it feels like an exaggeration, and the tedious vocals of Magus Caligula don't do much to save it. And don't even get more started on the lyrics to "Hail Murder", where the repetition of "Hail Murder!" feels lazy in songwriting. The songwriting quality on this album is a big downgrade from the previous two albums, and it's especially a big disappointment coming from Lord Ahriman, who otherwise had some strong lyrics in the last two records.

Once again, I'm not saying all of this because I think the album is terrible. There are still some neat and melodic moments, and "Heart of Ice" is still a strong track overall. However, the overall presentation of Diabolis Interium felt bland and unoriginal, and the norsecore elements don't help the album stand out in its own merits. At best, it's just a slightly above average black metal album that feels like it's intended for background noise, and the only reason I would recommend this to anyone is if it's for getting started in black metal. But if you think this is the worst album they've done, then you're gonna be in for a surprise when we look at their next album...

That's some disgusting looking Satan - 41%

Lich Coldheart, January 12th, 2022

"Diabolis Interium" (i.e "The Devil Within") is Dark Funeral's third full-length release and is... well, not as bad as Vobiscum Satanas. The music is the same in regard to the guitar tone, the heaviness of the production and the unrelenting tides of blast beats; the speed seems to have been turned up a notch, however.

Nine minutes in and I cannot say I am a fan. The music is still very much one-dimensional and I am getting bad, Vobiscum Satanas-like vibes from the music. The band seems to have added a little bit of extra emotion since Satan is finally victorious lyric-wise and I guess they wanted to show how touched they were due to the apocalypse finally having occurred in their third full-length release; there are hardly any memorable parts, however, and I am expecting plenty of disappointment at this point. When "Goddess of Sodomy" kicks in, the album takes a slightly slower and more lascivious turn, but the moans of the goddess sound rather oddly-placed so I am not sure this is the best way the apprentice of Satan could have chosen to show us his sexual pursuits. Was this even necessary? I guess the moaning makes the song more memorable but.... so what?

Afterwards, the album returns to the same one-dimensional structure; it feels like listening to the same song over and over again. It does indeed have more variation than Vobiscum Satanas but nothing really stands out. Even Caligula's vocals are one-dimensional, him using the same high-pitched shrieking pretty much throughout the whole album; if somebody were to put on a random track from Diabolis Interium I would have a hard time recognizing it due to the lack of variety and inspiration in songwriting. Some musical rhythm finally saves the day when "Thus I Have Spoken" starts playing; the guitar riffing is more inspired, having certain rhythmical parts that reminded me of Suidakra for some reason and even Caligula's vocals are lower-pitched at certain times, which is a welcome change after ~24 min of his razor-sharp shrieking that is just annoying coupled with the uninspired instrumental musicianship. "Armageddon Finally Comes" may also be considered a stand-out track due to its more dynamic songwriting but when you only have three songs that kind of stand out and are memorable ("Goddess of Sodomy," "Thus I Have Spoken," and "Armageddon Finally Comes") than your album is pretty shit.

Let's talk a little bit about the lyrics at this point. So, Satan conquers heaven and then punishes Jesus:

"They scream out in pain, as they see their kingdom fall.
Angel tears fall to the ground, as Satan again will reign."

"In the dungeon so cold, sits the Nazarene son.
His eyes filled with tears, his soul with fear.
Asking himself, where is my god now?"

Then the lyrics take a break from the Satanic conquest because the apprentice of Satan needs to fuck the goddess of Sodomy:

"Deep inside, you feel me pulsate.
More and more and more.
I hear you groan, you want me inside.
Again, again, again, again..."

Then the apprentice of Satan is said to slither through a maze of filth (because who the fuck would not want that....):

"Like a serpent I'm slithering,
In a maze of sin and filth"

With the album continuing with some more detail about Satan's conquest and more blasphemies. In the end, we get the same confused combination of vampirism and lycanthropy in "Heart of Ice" that was also present in songs such as "Dark Are the Paths to Eternity:"

"They howl in the night,
They are the children of the damned.
Cursed to live in darkness,
With a soul and a heart of ice.
Heart of ice...
As nightfall sets in, they crawl out from their caves.
Where they been hiding from the sunlight rays"
(....)

Maybe it is just me but that reads like someone has put vampire and werewolf lore together and came up with an abominable mixture of the two. Oh well.

As for the cover art, it seems to be depicting the most disgusting Satan I have ever seen, with nauseatingly looking worms coming out from several holes in his body. I guess that makes him the most penetrated Satan I have ever seen as well and I really do not appreciate the fact that he seems to be caressing his seemingly non-existent nipples. Sure, Satan does not give a fuck but.... what the fuck?

All in all, there is not much to say about this album when it comes to the songwriting and memorability department. If you want something fast, heavy and loud to headbang to then "Diabolis Interium" might be worth listening to. Otherwise...it's not. It's just loud.

And fast.
And heavy,
And Satan.
With little to save it from forgettability.

The Hellbound Heart: a romantic longing for Hell - 75%

Annable Courts, January 27th, 2020

Black metal generally is a niche acquired taste. It takes a particular endeavor from the band for an album to seduce the outsider, and Diabolis Interium underneath the surface is no mere generic work. The album sounds distinctly like a journey to Hell and in fact, it feels like the artists long for Hell itself. More on that later.

Musically it distinguishes itself from other black metal in that it definitely belongs to the style in terms of format and atmosphere, however there's a strong element of the Swedish metal sound that's apparent throughout. We're given a potent mix of black metal darkness pervaded with the Swedish melodic metal spirit with an emphasis on polished melodies and a big powerful production. The blast beats sound outrageously rapid and just burst with energy, the toms sound tight and imposing, while the tremolo picking and guitars in general have very clear definition and sit right at the front of the mix. There's an obvious effort to make the songs sound neat and highly dynamic as opposed to cavernous and obscure as is often the case for the genre. The forceful vocals are probably the highlight instrument on the record as they soar with reckless abandon as soon as the album starts and never let back; very powerful and explosive; their main goal being adding to the sheer dynamism of the tracks, making the experience more intense.

Song-writing wise, this album hardly reinvents anything, but it does succeed at being authentic. As established the riffs aren't revolutionary by any measure, but they're quality original themes and manage to convey the same core spirit of the album while remaining distinct from one another. They're an appetizing mix of melody and darkness, like trapped between beauty and evil, and musically translate the infernal grief of the artists. The riffs are mysterious, corrosive and at times sound like the musical expression of lamentation over an existential angst, and a willingness to venture closer to Hell, or perhaps to escape it.

So the album is called Diabolis Interium, i.e. the devil inside. The album cover depicts a humanoid demon in an apparent state of torturous anguish, seemingly sentenced to Hell as a gaping dimensional void appears behind him that might be sucking him in, with hooked chains flying out in his direction. The cover is aggressively red with shades of black while there seems to be light oozing out of the protagonist's chest, perhaps signaling the life still inside him desperate for freedom.

The most moving and striking thing about Diabolis Interium is that torment that haunts the artists and any listener affected by the deep mood and vivid imagery the album offers. The passion; in the true sense of the term; the suffering that's poured into the tracks, has a powerful contagious atmosphere about it. It's like the artists weren't only concerned with crafting a fantasy world depicting hellish imagery, but were really expressing a romantic longing for Hell or perhaps, the Hell they were in.

Underrated.

Wild, brutal, predictable - 78%

Felix 1666, July 17th, 2016

Bands like Dark Funeral are privileged. A lot of metalheads buy their albums even if they are disgraced with one of the silliest artworks that mankind has ever seen. The strange creature on the cover does not look very healthy, but his (very diabolically) sharp fingernails are perfectly manicured. This type of optical appearance is neither shocking nor "metal" but just simply embarrassing. By contrast, the acoustic framework conditions leave a better impression. The production is not marred by shitty elements. Density and power are the main features of the sound of "Diabolus Interium". Yet this fact should not be overemphasized. Anything else but a professional mix would not have been acceptable in view of the status that Dark Funeral had in 2001. To be ahead of the pack is a blessing and a curse at the same time.

The songs themselves fail to add new facets to the sound of Dark Funeral. They do not fall below a good level, but it seems as if the band is not able to make the last step. Two examples: "Hail Murder" wants to shatter the Christian idyll with a triumphant chorus, but it just passes by without leaving an gargantuan impact. The slow moving "Goddess of Sodomy" strives for abyssal blackness and all-embracing heaviness, yet it is nothing more than another good song. Yes, these two tracks do not deserve hard criticism. Nevertheless, the last ounce of compositional brilliance is missing. These tracks - and the remaining songs as well - are performed in a very experienced manner and everything has its order. Yet this way of proceeding does not result in absolutely outstanding pieces such as "Ineffable King of Darkness" or "Dark Are the Paths to Eternity (A Summoning Nocturnal)". Whichever way you look at it, Dark Funeral have become predictable. This is better than jumping head first into risky experiments that are doomed to failure, but it also does not guarantee an overdose of excitement.

Honestly speaking, I fear that this review reflects the predictability of the album. But, to give you an example, what can be said about the lead vocals? Emperor Magus Caligula screams and shouts with dedication and his contribution does not lack of demonic elements. Nevertheless, it is a very generic performance at the same time. Exactly the same applies for the mostly hyper-fast pieces. No doubt, Dark Funeral are still on the warpath. They avoid any kind of beauty, softness and negligence. No doubt, tracks like the partially ultra-rapid "An Apprentice of Satan" do not lack of franticness and the fires of hell are burning permanently. Even in their rather non-divine moments, the Swedes are strong enough to offer some infectious moments. Nonetheless, an outstanding jewel is missing. "Diabolus Interium" therefore cannot continue the series of outstanding releases of the formation. It can be regarded as a good album in objective terms, but it fails to enrich the catalogue of Dark Funeral, because the brutal overall result lacks slightly of soul, identity and elements of surprise.

Boundary forcing mayhem - 80%

autothrall, October 23rd, 2009

Few bands in the extreme black scene can unleash such an explosive holocaust of refined riffing and boundary forcing mayhem as Dark Funeral. I can think of only a few; 1349 and Emperor would top that short list. They have become one of the defining forces in Swedish black metal, and I believe Diabolus Interium is probably the best example of their work.

Dark Funeral does not fuck around. They never have, and they probably never will. Within mere seconds, "The Arrival of Satan's Empire" has already destroyed everything in a five mile radius with its intense blasting, ripping production and the unforgettable plague of its winding, damnable parade of notes and chords. It is clear from the second track "Hail Murder" that the Swedes have no plans of letting up. Even when the band slows down the tempo for "Goddess of Sodomy" it is still sick as fuck. Not easy to choose favorites, but two of the other tracks I really appreciate are the title track and "Thus I Have Spoken". Terrifying.

Matte Modin's drumming is simply insane. That a human being has this much energy is difficult to believe, but there is a reason this man is so sought after for projects. Ahriman and Dominion never let up their barrage of filthy, sadistic chords and imperial Satanic melodies. Though his bass playing is adequate, it is Emperor Magus Caligula's vocals which inject each track with diabolic menace, one of the best pure black metal frontmen out there.

Trust me, put your crosses away, hide your rosary beads and check out this Satanic masterwork. Unrelenting in both intent and delivery, Dark Funeral prove their standing in the armies of darkness as generals and executioners.

-autothrall
http://www.fromthedustreturned.com

Not original, but still great - 89%

Hawks10Pec, March 11th, 2009

For most people who listen to black metal, Dark Funeral is a household name. They are known for being one of the fastest, if not the fastest, black metal bands. In all the albums that they have released thus far, Dark Funeral has always brought the intensity and speed of death metal and mixed it with the black metal instrumentation and image. This album, Diabolis Interium, is the band's third full length album and its no different than any of the other Dark Funeral albums. Some of you may be thinking of that as a bad thing. Well it depends. Sometimes when bands release the same album over and over, it gets really boring and not really worth listening to, but fortunately in Dark Funeral's case, they never really bore the listener. When you're listening to this album, or any of their other albums, you will most likely always be entertained.

Like I said earlier, if you've heard the band before you will know that they are mostly all about speed and here its not different. What you get throughout the album is lightning fast riffs, well at least for black metal, and extremely fast drumming. Sometimes the band will even throw the listener a curve ball and slow it up a little bit like on Goddess of Sodomy. When the slow parts do happen, its pretty nice to hear because it gives you a second to catch your breath before they blast into pure black metal chaos again. One thing that you can't forget is that even though the slow parts are nice to hear every once in a while, this band is based on one thing and that is being as fast as they possibly can.

Emperor Magus Caligula's vocals fit in perfectly with the instrumentation of this band. The band plays as fast as they can and he sounds as evil as he possibly can. His vocals really aren't the typical shriek. Actually, his voice really has no "shriek" in it at all. This man yells at the top of his lungs throughout every single song. Not Dani Filth type yelling, but in a deeper more masculine sounding type of way. Don't get me wrong though, if he needs to be a little more high pitched he can do that too so don't underestimate his vocal ability.

Another strong point of this album, and really all Dark Funeral albums, is the great production. Even from the beginning of their careers, Dark Funeral has always had top notch production and that isn't (wasn't) an easy thing to find in black metal albums. None of the instruments are too high or low in the mix and the vocals don't soar above all the instruments.

Overall, this album really isn't essential by any means, but if you like your black metal fast, brutal, and intense then you will definitely love this and all of Dark Funeral's albums. Once again, the production is great so if you're one of the elitists who can only listen to albums that sound like they were made in a garage, basement, or in the woods then you will probably want to steer clear of this one. Go get some Ildjarn or Isengard if you want horrible, and I mean horrible, production.

The Evil in All of Us - 91%

CHRISTI_NS_ANITY8, November 22nd, 2008

The Dark Funeral’s progression still goes strong with this Diabolis Interium. Well, musically we cannot talk of “strong evolution” but in terms of the song-writing and production yes. The new sounds are much more clear than in the past and this is good for the ones who wanted a blasting production but there’s also the risk of reducing the evil charge of the album. By the way, this is a risk that Dark Funeral avoid almost completely. Surely this “plastic” production astonished me at first and not in a complete good way, but after I started to enjoy it more and this album shows also some of the best songs by this band.

Without further introductions, let’s start the massacre with “The Arrival of Satan’s Empire”. The paces are immediately fast and on blast beats. The production is suddenly well-displayed and the guitars have always that hint of echo to be more gloom and dark. By the way, their power is now different and not that much on the pure volumes. They are a bit on the background to support and give that “Satanic melody” to the songs. Anyway, this song is very good and surely one of the best from this band. The vocals are, as always, nasty and uncompromised. The drums are triggered but nothing dull or annoying because they are always “human” and not so artificial.

The riffs are massive and always in balance between the open riffage and the cold tremolo picking that gives the right atmosphere for a track like “Hail Murder”. Everything sounds muffled but also incredibly cold and malignant. The choruses and the verses are perfectly recognizable and they remain fixed in your head. The compositions have that sort of catchiness that lacked in some parts on the albums before and this is also excellent to feed these songs with variety. The mid-paced “Goddess of Sodomy” is just great with girls’ pleasure groans on the background. Everything is slower and perverted and at the same time, but also so ritualistic and gloom.

The title track has again impressive vocals that pass easily from growls to screams and destructive riffs. They are always catchy for being black metal but also always ferocious and cold as ice. The fast tempo is again here and the blast beats pass also through the following “An Apprentice of Satan”. The “profundity” of the riffs and their coldness are just incredible and they recreate a scenario of total lifeless lands with fog and abandoned castles. This time we can find various tempo switches and arpeggios too. The atmosphere is more important on this track, but they never forget the pure violence and the speed restarts.

“Thus I have Spoken” has that epic/massive beginning Dark Funeral never tried before and this is just great. The following blast beats are really out of the blue and always sharp as razors. The gloom breaks are very good and they stop a bit the most furious parts. “Armageddon Finally Comes” shows again no mercy and settles on blast beats. The violence grows incredibly but some riffs are also less memorable, still remaining good. There are few stops where the guitars are on distorted and fast arpeggio but nothing more. “Heart of Ice” is way better because again points more on the “melodies”, on the atmosphere and even the faster parts features better riffs on tremolo.

All in all, I can easily say that this album is the best in Dark Funeral’s discography, so far. The songs are better developed and they feature more distinctive traces and parts. Everything sounds apocalyptic, glacial but also inspired and ferocious. This album is recommended for those who want a heavy dosage of fast black with some great, dark melodies.

Yeah Satan is a pretty cool dude - 90%

Noktorn, February 18th, 2008

This is musical candy, and I'm really not sure how people couldn't like it. I believe there's exactly two sorts of metalheads who don't like Dark Funeral: people who think all black metal has to be sublime and meaningful and atmospheric, and people who think that all black metal has to be patterned off 'Deathcrush' and a single blast beat just ruins everything. There's the occasional odd duck who merely doesn't like Dark Funeral in particular out of taste, but these days people who decide how they feel about bands on a case-by-case basis are practically creatures of myth, so I don't think I've encountered any of that breed. Anyway, 'Diabolis Interium' is great blast blasty black metal in the Swedish norsecore vein, with all kinds of great sort-of-melodic tremolo riffs, really violent and well-delivered vocals, good production, and the word 'Satan' repeated a few thousand times. It's one of the best of its breed and if you don't like it you're lame.

On the (very) off chance you haven't heard Dark Funeral, this is what you get: really fast and constant blasting and tremolo riffing (apart from romantic ballad 'Goddess Of Sodomy') and dogmatic screeching from Magus Caligula. It's simple and effective because the writing is so good. For instance: opener 'The Arrival Of Satan's Empire' kicks ass. There's no other words for it. It's incredibly intense and brutal and hellish, exactly how I like (this particular) black metal to be. But there's another, less appreciated quality in Dark Funeral's music which comes out in spades on this album: that is how very theatrical the band is. Really, there's not a moment on this album where they aren't trying to be as overbearingly EEEEEVIIIIIL as possible, verging on self-parody without ever crossing over that line. It's ridiculous and dramatic, but they play hard and fast enough to really be convincing and not seem to be doing it ironically. For that quality alone, the album is great.

Picking out stand-out songs is sort of pointless, but they do exist. 'The Arrival Of Satan's Empire' is a crowd favorite for a reason and is a flawless opener. 'Goddess Of Sodomy' is actually a very underrated track, packing some excellent riffs and vocal lines along with the hilarious occult sleeze lyrics from some awful meeting of Mötley Crüe and Emperor. The title track and 'An Apprentice Of Satan' are more blasting perfection, but what else is there to say, really? That's pretty much the whole album: blast after blast after riff after riff, perfectly composed to be as vicious and ripping as possible (aided by the thunderous and clear production). If there's a flaw, it's that 'Heart Of Ice' seems like a somewhat anticlimactic way to end the album, with its long streams of mid-paced double bass overtaking frantic blasting. But whatever, the half hour before it should be enough to please any lover of stupidly fast and aggressive black metal.

Is this effectively pop music in black metal clothing? Yeah, it is. This is maybe one notch above most Cradle Of Filth records as far as being as 'respectable' black metal piece goes, and in a lot of ways it just goes to the lowest common denominator without so much as a glance in the direction of mature songwriting. I don't really care, though, because I'd rather listen to this than Drudkh or Amesoeurs any day. It's more honest.

(un)Holy Shit! - 92%

IrishDeathgrip, October 11th, 2007

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.

Well, It's Better Than 'Black Arts'... - 65%

MutatisMutandis, September 17th, 2005

I know I’ve mentioned this tons of times, on both this archive and my forum, but it ‘s the perfect way to introduce myself and the band I’m writing about. I’m not a huge fan of black metal. It’s true; while those crazy kids run around trying to be evil in their tight pants and clown paint, I sit back in my less than comfy armchair and laugh at them, preferably blasting my Hemdale collection. That isn’t to say I hate the whole genre, as Aeternus’ first two albums are absolute masterpieces, and most of Darkthrone makes me titter with joy. Just so you know, I always am ready with an open mind while reviewing the music foreign to me, and never listen to metal magazine and their ‘stories’ of grandeur.

So, anyway, here we have Dark Funeral’s latest helping. Even with a blank slate, I found it hard to overlook the fact that everything to date by these guys has put me to sleep from track 1. If you’ve never heard Dark Funeral before, they play a somewhat melodic, shrill, and chaos-filled form of satanic black metal. Sounds good, right? Well... that’s where I always end up disappointed. It’s clear that these guys are talented enough, as the riffs always start off catchy and enveloping, and the mouthpiece does have a nice high pitched and powerful screech (unlike Marduk), but there’s a few things that I can never overlook. For one, the band’s song writing skills are just below sub par. Sure, they don’t follow an obvious intro, verse, chorus structure, but the way they feel the need to repeat riffs over and over and over with no real direction bores me to tears. Not only that, but I always get a feeling of deja vu during the third track, as they take one riff and fix it up a little, then form a whole new song out of it. Sure, it’s still their own music, with few visible influences, but that doesn’t mean it’s new and exciting.

But still, I was lured in. Not from the comical CD cover of the generic Satan embodiment, or the dull song titles, but the fact that my friend thought this was so incredibly good, he wouldn’t let me be happy until I heard it myself. Finally, after nearly three weeks of aggravation, I gave in and took it for a spin. I still can’t say I’m very impressed or anything, but overall, this is a huge step up from their previous releases. The songs seem to flow much more smoothly, and I do really like the production on this album, as it’s gritty and screechy, but clear and digestible on the first listen. Unfortunately, the riffs are still fairly repetitive, and there are moments where I fade out, but overall, it’s not bad. I think the best thing about Diabolis Interium is the drums. While they are still standard, endless blast beats at times, they seem to be more in the background now, and don’t smother the other aspects of the music (of course, that’s the production’s fault too).

Even though I don’t love this album, I’m sure anyone who liked their previous releases will eat this up. Well, well, well... I’ve never given a positive review to band like this before. Hmm... hopefully Dark Funeral’s next release won’t be a sell out, because honestly, if they continue to improve like this, I will be forced to salute them.

Good Satan, Dark Funeral is progessing!!! - 92%

Lord_Jotun, December 31st, 2003

"Diabolis Interium" was meant to strike me without warning, a black lightning summoned up from darkest depths aimed at my Metal heart. First, I didn't know anything about this album being made and released, and it was quite a moment when I was this classy faux-leather digipack at the local record store. I didn't hesitate to pick it up, as I really enjoyed the band's older material, and soon found myself engulfed in raging flames of ageless fury.
After quite a long hiatus, Dark Funeral are back with a vengeance: "Diabolis Interium" retains all the band's trademark elements taking them to a whole new level, as well as adding new igredients to their venomous essence. The unique wall of sound created by those deep, overpowering guitars is still there, the furious drumming is relentless as ever, and the vocals are still totally inhuman and insane... yet, the playing is more cohesive than ever, and the strength of the material is compromiseless.
A good deal of this improvement clearly comes from having a full line-up once more. Along with founding member Lord Ahriman and scramer extraordinaire Emperor Magus Caligula we find the likes of Dominion (who had also contributed with some guitars on the band's previous EP, "Teach Children To Worship Satan"), whose full and precise style prefectly complements Ahriman's trademark chords and tremolos, and an apocalyptc earthquake skin trashing machine disguised as a human being named Matte Modin (formerly of Infernal, ex-member Blackmoon's new band). Yes, the drum work on this album is nothing short of unbelievable. It's damn fast, yet powerful never sloppy or lacking precision (unlike some sections on "Vobiscum Satanas"). Generally the songs sound a lot more solid and cohesive, and without a doubt Matte's drumming is a decisive contribution to such a great result.

As usual, the devastation begins right away from the very first second of "The Arrival of Satan's Empire", a typical Dark Funeral hymn to cosmic destruction, only even faster and possibly more hateful. The riffs are faster and cleverly built, showcasing right from the start a more mature songwriting; Caligula screams his lungs out more powerfully than ever without sacrificing clarity and as usual adds some deep growls here and there, switching between the two styles flawlessly.
"Hail Murder", the second stormblast, underlines the band's creative progression even more effectively. A pretty long song by Dark Funeral's standards (a bit more than five minutes), it sports a rich collection of great riffs linked together through smooth and clever key changes, all of this spiced by a slow, pounding chorus.

"Goddess of Sodomy" isn't as strong musically but even more suprising. Why? Because this song is SLOW!! That's right, a slow song in a Dark Funeral album, and for being their first foray in this territory it comes off rather good. It gets repetitive after a while, honestly, but it's short enough not to get blatantly boring.The lyrics are also worth a chuckle, with memorable lines such as "every single hole in you is mine", "I hear you groan, you want me inside" or even "I control your desire, with my godlike white salted wine"... sublime, highest poetry.I wonder if Caligula's wife ever read these lines...
The title track is next and brings back Dark Funeral on the beaten path with unparalleled intensity, once again displaying a considerable amount of great riffs and playing skills.

"An Apprentice of Satan" is a true Dark Funeral epic ever which had already appeared as the previously unreleased track on the "Teach Children To Worship Satan" EP. This version has been rerecorded by the new line-up, and it blends perfectly with the rest of the material, and manages to top the previous version thanks to a tighter performance and a more inspired vocal work from Caligula. Several tempo and riff changes make it a highly entertaining listen, and its inpressive length (around six minutes) doesn't really show.
"Thus I Have Spoken" begins with a slow, heavy intro which in turn becomes yet another supersonic riff; the song has a very particular rhythmic structure, shifting between quaternary and ternary tempos (yes, Lestat, you're right). Again, the band's progression into being more mature songwriters and performers shines.

"Armageddon Finally Comes" is the album's shortest offering, a no frills jackhammer song which sticks more to the band's traditional repertoire; it's slightly less interesting than the rest riff-wise but after two layered songs such as "An Apprentice of Satan" and "This I Have Spoken" works great as a small break; besides, musical violence has rarely been delivered with such competent intensity (to be more specific: even the most aggressive parts on "Diabolis Interium" never sound liked just a messy floodwave of white noise).
The grand finale comes in the form of "Heart of Ice", a great infernal symphony featuring a slow and menacing intro and outro, and more fantastic riffs and tonality shifts inbetween. One last song, one last highlight.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this album to anyone who never heard Dark Funeral as an introduction. It's definitely their most varied, competent and enjoyable, with the only drawback of being maybe too short but no Dark Funeral release has ever been known for its length. Even those who weren't really impressed by the band's previous outputsmight want to check this out. Very highly recommended.

Best Dark Funeral album.. - 100%

Lestat, March 24th, 2003

Maybe I'm overating Dark funeral's "Diabolis interium", but that's the way I see it: It's their best album.
Blast beats and satanic lyrics from start to end, that may seem boring to some people, but that's the way I think black metal must be: it must have no rules.
"The Arrival of Satan's Empire" is the high-speeded opener for this mind blowing album, and one of the best, I must say. Excellent guitar melodies, and killer blast beats.
The second is "Hail murder". Not my favorite song, but's still really good.
We find their slower song in this album, wich is called "Goddess of sodomy" (unussual non-blast beating stuff for them, with erotic lyrics).
Finally we arrive to the true "Evil from inside": "Diabolis interium", wich has excellent lyrics, excellent guitar melodies, and a nice load of blast beats. The perfect song to hear when you're on the mood for killing.
The next one we find is "Apprentice of Satan". A non-repetitive track, with some tempo changes, and realy good lyrics, nice melodies.
The following to that one is "Thus I have spoken". It starts with some slower intro (compared to the other tracks), and all of a sudden it blows you away. And correct me if I'm wrong, but I dare to say that Lord Arhiman wanted to experiment with some meter changes; I'm almost sure they use 3/4 in some parts of this song.
"Armageddon Finally Comes" is the next one, wich is a typical "Vobiscum Satanas" song. Their ussual stuff.
And the last one, "Heart of Ice", another good song, wich makes you think once again that there's another slower song, but explodes like a punching you in the face out of nowhere. Great for an ending.
The sound quality is their best so far, can't complain about that. About their monotonal blast beats styled songs, I must say they're getting into more guitar melodies, for a change, and we still have "Goddess of Sodomy", wich is new (and good) stuff.
The vocals (by Masse Broberg, the black god artist), and the drumming (almost unbelievable) make this album a perfect black metal weapon to kill.