Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Cold, Satanic and Good - 89%

CHRISTI_NS_ANITY8, November 13th, 2008

Dark Funeral is a band worshipped by many in the black metal genre and their albums are a concentrate of malignance, coldness and Satanism. I must confess I’ve never been a huge fan of this band, but I also have to say they are pretty evil even if the recent productions have a quite artificial and too clean production that in some parts thins out the dark, gloom elements. This speech surely cannot be done for the first album, this The Secrets of The Black Arts, because here everything is bound to the darkness and the coldness of the north.

“The Dark Age Has Arrived” is just a short introduction to the blasting violence of the tile track. For those who are into black metal, it’s useless to describe Dark Funeral’s style in doing black metal, but for those who are not huge fans we can describe their music as fast, cold and evil. The guitars are constantly fast and they play a lot of riffs, changing from open chords to the colder tremolo picking technique. The drumming is obsessive; often on blast beats and the vocals are not exaggerated in screams but their tonality is glacial and satanic.

The fast parts are always well-balanced with more mid-paced overtures, in order to give oxygen to the evilness that lies among these notes. So often, the glacial, sharp touch of the guitars is mixed with dark, gloom melodies and this adds a sense of ritualism to the sound, bringing also variety to an often too abused songwriting by other bands. These melodies can be also catchy and they help you in recognize the songs and enjoy them in every single aspect of their brutality and darkness. The vocals sometimes switch from screams to growls and the clean, whispered ones on “My Dark Desires” are very good for the mood.

The more “atmospheric” breaks are made of long notes and black arpeggios to restart immediately under the blast beats. It’s the case, for example, of the following “The Dawn No More Rises” where the blast beats are always precise, clear-cut and powerful. The production, as I said, is never too old school and never too modern. It’s right in the middle, so we can hear the instruments perfectly in all their power but we do it though massive attack of rawness and darkness. By the way, don’t expect too many changes from the beginning to the end because here it’s always fast black metal and the structure of the songs is more or less the same.

Yes, we find more violent compositions (“When Angels Forever Die”, “The Fire Eternal”, “Satan’s Mayhem”) in oppositions to the ones that point more on the evilness and the “atmosphere” of the guitars (“Shadows Over Transylvania”, “Bloodfrozen”) but the formula always remains the same: Satanism and darkness in music. “Satanic Blood” is a Von cover and obviously displays a totally different songwriting. It has inside the influences and the styles of the very first wave of black metal (1992) and the structure is essential, in one way and very, very simple. The last, always violent and dark “Dark Are the Paths to Eternity (A Summoning Nocturnal)” put the exclamation point to this very good debut by Dark Funeral.

The flaws are a bit concentrated on the constant, a bit overused on this album, fast paced parts that is few sections are a bit repetitive, but nothing grave. It’s difficult to play this stuff and be always on the top for ideas and songwriting. By the way, this album achieved the goal of making me stunned for its brutality and it’s a good piece to discover the good black metal bands of the 90s.