Dark Funeral - _Secrets of the Black Arts_
(No Fashion Records, 1996)
by: Henry Akeley (5 out of 10)
This Swedish band boasts some pretty impressive qualifications. On bass and vocals, we have "The Master of Diabolical Possession & Black Magick." On drums, it's "Commander of The Infernal Demon Legions." And on guitar, we have both "The Lord of The Shadows & Master of The Black Arts" and (get this one) "The Lord of Destruction, Evil, Darkness, and Death." Given all the nasty and scary deeds which these four supreme dignitaries of ultimate evilness must have to perform, it seems remarkable that they were also able to find the time to get together and whip up a whole CD of hyper-fast black metal. But they did. And judging by the results, I'd say that becoming Lord of The Shadows (and so on) or Lord of Destruction (and so on) must tend to get in the way of coming up with any very interesting riffs - though tracks like "The Dawn No More Rises" and "Shadows Over Transylvania" do feature some decent guitar-shredding. Being Commander of Demon Legions, on the other hand, might actually enhance one's ability to blast out some truly -amazing- percussion, as amply demonstrated on every track. Finally, operating as Master of Possession (and so on) seems to have no real effect either way, since the vocal and bass on this album are standard black metal fare: raspy and inaudible, respectively. How about the songs? Well, let's just say that this infernal outfit falls far short of the standard set by Lord Mysteriis and company (Setherial), or by Sabathan and crew (Enthroned). Both of the latter bands rip out light-speed black metal, but both also incorporate frequent tempo changes, moody interludes, and really wild guitar parts. By contrast, Dark Funeral write awfully monotonous stuff: the vast majority of their material sounds totally interchangeable, and the few songs that do stand out are enjoyable, but nothing terribly interesting. Hmmm... maybe if these guys put as much work into crafting something original as they obviously put into their evil imagery, they could really kick ass next time. Just a thought from the reviewer - that's me, Count Sarcastic.

(article published 12/8/1996)


CHATS
12/7/2005 J Smit Dark Funeral: Until You Call on the Dark
11/17/1997 A Wasylyk Dark Funeral: The Dark Age Has Arrived
ALBUMS
1/4/2010 J Smit 5.5 Dark Funeral - Angelus Exuro Pro Eternus
10/24/2005 J Smit 8.5 Dark Funeral - Attera Totus Sanctus
8/12/2000 A McKay 9.5 Dark Funeral - Teach Children to Worship Satan
7/8/1998 P Azevedo 8 Dark Funeral - Vobiscum Satanas
GIGS
1/10/2001 A Wasylyk Dark Funeral / Blood of Christ / Endless Satanic Swedes and Chugging Canadians
8/12/2000 M Noll Deicide / Immortal / Cannibal Corpse / Marduk / Vader / Dark Funeral / Hate Eternal / Vomitory There's No Mercy in Satan's Oven
5/19/1999 P Azevedo Dimmu Borgir / Dark Funeral / Dodheimsgard / Evenfall The Darkest Night of the Year
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