DARK FUNERAL, one of the mightiest Black Metal “superbands”, returns to the fields with “Attera Totus Sanctus”, an album based entirely in their successful old formula. Ultra-catchy choruses, straight-to-face riffs, aggressive attitude and demolishing heavy atmosphere make a good combination and DARK FUNERAL already built an identity in base of those elements. Moreover, they still keep an underground touch that makes them respectable inside the elitist Black Metal scene.
This album was in some way expected and in the other hand disappointing. Expected, because as I already said we have a crystal-clear vision of what this band is about and they will probably never surprise us with anything experimental or compromising, but disappointing because I simply loved “Diabolis Interium” and its dark, haunting essence and “Attera Totus Sanctus” just seems very empty and uninspired in comparison. There’s almost no variety at all and although rather pleasant to hear, turns very shallow after a few songs. It just lacks the unstoppable bliss of their previous disc and even being almost identical in terms of structure, evil energy is replaced by a simple repetitive punching.
Magnus Caligula vocals are also much weaker. He is actually one of my most respected vocalists (specially because of his extraordinary Death Metal grunts in GOD AMONG INSECTS and early HYPOCRISY), but here his over-forced voice just tangles with the extremely simple instrumental work, subtracting density to the music with his mellow performance… a poor production doesn’t help to raise this album above mediocrity neither, sounding very drowned.
“Attera Totus Sanctus” is just an album that you can skip. It’s average, unoriginal and a step back by a band that had made rather good Black Metal before… It’s not too bad neither, just one of those discs that don’t deserve much more than a simple comment. Don’t buy unless you’re very sure of what you’re doing. (Online February 9, 2006)