Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

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

Privacy Policy

I can safely say, this exists - 50%

Torwilligous, January 4th, 2009

So here we have some Swedish black metal. This concludes the review.

Wait, you'll be wanting more than that, won't you? Oh, very well then. This is black metal: minor chords, tremolo strummed with a treble heavy guitar tone, arranged into riffs which shift in dissonant and chromatic fashion, creating a sense of darkness and evil; furious and intense drumming incorporating many a blastbeat; simple and cold melodies that often move counter to the harmonies in a device to create tension and create an unsettling sensation of fundamental dischord; rough, midranged rasps for vocals. And, it's from the country of Sweden. There, can I stop now? What do you mean, 'no'?!

Look, the real problem with this is just that it doesn't do anything at all; it's nothing more than some black metal, most of which is high speed but which incorporates the occasional slower section (these parts also happen to be the best bits of the album, though the word 'best' may be too strong to use in this context). It's not especially ferocious. It has some atmosphere, but not to any remarkable degree. The production is quite clean and powerful, which simply serves to expose the fact that there aren't any interesting riffs here. Inventiveness is absolutely zero. I'm already running out of things to say here; it's all so bland and uninteresting! None of these songs are obnoxious or terrible, but neither are they particularly exciting or memorable. None of the riffs stand out, but nor do they sound poor. The songwriting has no outstanding panache, but neither is it inept. There's literally nothing to say about it. Why would anyone particularly want to listen to this? If I happened to hear this coming from somewhere, it wouldn't particularly annoy me; I'd just think 'oh cool, there's some Dark Funeral' and go about my business. At precisely the same time, I have absolutely no motivation to seek out this album as a listening experience. It's pretty much identical to silence in my book, except for the (minor) fact that it is somewhat more noisy.

Look, you've heard it all a trillion times before. It's fast, blasting black metal with a Swedish touch (so think cleaner production and a Dissection-esque sound to the harmonies) and has absolutely nothing special to recommend it over any other fast black metal band you can think of. It does have a cool piece of cover art though! Yeah, that's something I can say. Oh, and speaking of covers reminds me that "The Secrets of the Black Arts" also contains a cover of Von's "Satanic Blood" that is by far the most interesting thing on here. With its ritualistic repetitive droning, empty nihilistic riffing, and rhythmically haphazard vocals echoing in the distance, it succeeds in creating something that screams of entropy and desolation. But this is supposed to be a Dark Funeral album, and when your most remarkable song is written by somebody else, you probably have a severe problem on your hands.

I neither recommend or not this album. How can I? There's nothing wrong with it. It's a perfectly acceptable collection of music; it checks all the black metal boxes and goes absolutely no further at all. This is black metal tofu - completely bland and tasteless, but also perfectly pleasant and inoffensive.