Every once and a while, a work of brilliance is released on an unsuspecting public. A work so intricate, detailed, powerful and mesmerizing that it will literally shake the foundations of the genre. This is one of those albums.
The sheer power of this release can be overwhelming at times, and it evident from the opening track. With an ominous reverberation in the foreground, and screaming in the background, the noise slowly gives way to a mounting riff, before erupting into a fury of violence.
The most striking aspect to FUNERAL MIST is Arioch’s vocals, which are some of the most unique to be found within the Black Metal genre. Avoiding all clichés, Arioch uses a commanding, forceful almost spoken vocal technique instead of the standard Black Metal shriek, which is still incredibly effective at drawing me into each track.
For all of its accomplishments, however, the discs greatest achievement is the aura and atmosphere it creates. Every second bleeds a kind of darkness that is rarely, if ever seen or felt by most people, and a kind of hatred that is felt by even fewer. The beginning of “Across The Qliphoth” is a key example for both of these, as once the drums commence; you can feel yourself being consumed.
Conceptually, FUNERAL MIST deals with satanic concepts, but in a much more refined and intelligent manner than so many of the so-called Satanic Death/Black Metal bands out there that have simply become a farce. The use of sampling throughout the disc greatly help to enhance this, my favourite being the sound of chanting while Jesus is being whipped, while forced to carry his cross.
A stellar release that will now, unfortunately, get recognition for all the wrong reasons. (Online December 18, 2004)