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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.