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Funerarium - Valley Of Darkness (6/10) - Luxembourg - 2006

Genre: Black Metal
Label: Undercover Records
Playing time: 40:55
Band homepage: Funerarium

Tracklist:

  1. Disappearance Of A Sad Spirit >mp3
  2. Night Of The Fullmoon
  3. Valley Of Darkness >mp3
  4. Uther Pendragon >mp3
  5. Funeral Procession >mp3
  6. Icy Steel
  7. Outro
Funerarium - Valley Of Darkness

Perhaps Iím slightly disenchanted, but Black Metal with real magic is getting increasingly hard to come by.  Sure there are the usual suspects and a handful of new bands of interest, but you have to wade through mires of shit to find even this little.  Yet, sometimes despite the lack of such magic, it can be simply agreeable to hear a solid take on an increasingly forgotten sound.

 

Ok, so BURZUM isnít likely to be forgotten, and his influence is stamped all over this release, but the overall effect is much closer to what Mr Vikernes spawned, rather than what he created himself.  No, not XASTHUR, but the low-fi simple brilliance of classic GRAVELAND.  To me this reeks of "The Celtic Winter" with its distant and frail production and harsh reverberating vocals.  The use of slow, deliberate rhythms and minimal percussion and dejected melodies only serves to heighten the comparison.

 

A sound forgotten by the band themselves, now modified by the abovementioned Americans, has found itself honoured in its most basic and pure form by this Luxembourg act, and while it may not contain all the magic or majesty, there is ample in terms of quality and character to be enjoyed.  Nevertheless, for the critical minded, the cynical and the truly disenchanted, take note that this isnít anything you havenít heard better elsewhere.

(Online December 5, 2006)

Niall Kennedy



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