Black Funeral - _Vampyr - Throne of the Beast_
(Full Moon Prod., 1996)
by: Henry Akeley (7 out of 10)
If you're a total old-school black metal purist, you might tack another point or two onto the score for this one. If, on the other hand, truly creepy, blackened scorch is really not your thing, you should definitely subtract four or five. Much like Bathory circa '85 and current groups like Gorgoroth and Ungod, Black Funeral feel no need to dress up their pure black sound in more colorful sonic fashions. There are no "epic" synthesizers washing out the electrified strings; there are no moody medieval acoustic bits; there are no female friends of the band reciting poetry in the middle of songs. Nope, these guys can create a really icy and other-worldly atmosphere with bass, guitar, drums, and vox alone. Black Funeral churn out highly evocative music, stark in its simplicity, yet so unrelentingly dark and distorted that each song gives off an authentically grim vibe. The key is some pretty crafty songwriting, especially evident on "Spectral Agony of Pain and Loneliness", the title track, and "Of Dark and Crimson Spheres". Every song features cool changes in tempo, weirdly haunting riffs, and chilling vocals. And unlike far too many black metal bands, these guys know how not to wear out their welcome: this debut CD is only 28 minutes long. Definitely some of the creepiest sounding metal I have heard in quite some time, this is highly recommended for those with a taste for the ghastly. Another very cool release from Full Moon.

(article published 10/5/1996)

8/12/1999 A Cantwell 1 Black Funeral - Moon of Characith
3/10/1998 S Hoeltzel 9 Black Funeral - Empire of Blood
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