Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

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

Privacy Policy

Unhallowed procession - 90%

Felix 1666, September 6th, 2014
Written based on this version: 1996, CD, No Fashion Records

The first full-length of this well-known Swedish horde can be considered as a very good output. Whatever you might want in respect of misanthropic black metal, this albums offers it; small blemishes included. For example, the band recycles two songs of their debut EP. The pieces sound great and can compete with the newer tracks. Nevertheless, I do not see a sustainable reason for the republishing. The intro also makes no sense, but who cares about sixteen seconds? Furthermore, the lyrics seem to be written during ten minutes. Its topics and the choice of words stay the same during the entire album. However, the lyrics match with the hateful vocals, which do not vary much. But from my point of view, that is how it should be.

But all that is really not important. The above mentioned small defects fade away while listening to the stormy black metal anthems. It appears that the band wanted to catapult the genre to the next level. Of course, there had been other groups playing hyper fast black metal before. But Dark Funeral achieve a higher standard of catchiness without setting the focus on groovy rhythms. Perhaps this needs an explanation. I therefore ask you to check out the merciless "When Angels Forever Die", which marks a climax on this record. It comes straight to the point while unleashing an extremely huge amount of energy. Its most noticeable part is the highly memorable chorus. After listening to it for the first time, you will not easily get it out of your mind again. Furthermore, due to its conciseness, it delivers a destructive force that nobody can resist. This tune is only surpassed by the concluding "Dark Are the Paths to Eternity". That piece stands out because of its irresistible guitar lines, the terrific tempo changes and its multifarious compositional structure.

Aside from this, there are many other highlights. They all have one thing in common, the worship of the dark sides of life and death. Therefore, the album constantly emanates a devastating feeling. The compositions are coherent and the almost faultless sound also contributes to the album´s success. The required minimum of melodies exists without showing any sign of musical harmony. The cover version of Von´s "Satanic Blood" even manages to function without any melody... okay, it does not really work very well.

"The Secrets of the Black Arts" blew me away at the time of publication. Almost twenty years later, it is still a very strong full-length. You can use it as a pretty nice energy provider from time to time. But it seems that it is no timeless piece of art. With regard to this, the album can no longer reach the ultimate level of quality, even though the creepy cover painting would deserve a 100% rating.