Funeral Mist

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )

Salvation (2003) , 6.5/10
Maranatha (2009), 6/10

(Clicka qua per la versione Italiana)

Funeral Mist, the project of Swedish guitarist and vocalist Arioch (Daniel Rosten), who also sang on some Marduk albums (disguised under the moniker Mortuus), debuted with the EP Devilry (Shadow, 1998) and managed to achieve both extremely pummeling speed and extremely dense heaviness on Salvation (Norma Evangelium Diaboli, 2003), a quintessential black-metal album. The growl of Agnus Dei is submerged by a convoluted mass of degenerate riffs and blastbeats. Perdition's Light buries the declamation under layers of gratuitous loudness. Bread To Stone (the only song under three minutes) does little more than pile up chaos. In order to balance the thickness of noise, Funeral Mist introduces instability and variety. Best of all, Sun Of Hope shifts tempo several times, starting out in Ramones mode and gouig through a section of vaudeville stomp to end in a satanic bacchanal (replete with exoteric choir). Across The Qliphoth goes back and forth between senseless gallop to agonizing stutter. Nonetheless order and even a melodic progression emerges from the frenzied whirlwind of Breathing Wounds, a hummable rigmarole arises from the hysterical slapping rhythm of Realm Of Plagues, and midtempo pomp erupts from the distorted mass of Holy Poison, The album includes two lengthy pieces: the 13-minute Circle Of Eyes, boasting the most gothic voice of the batch and a uniform banging/scratching feast from start to end, and the 12-minute In Manus Tuas , a strenuous death dance with a sleepy instrumental coda of chamber music.

Even more unorthodox experiments were ahead. Maranatha (Ajna, 2009) opened with a contradiction: the nonstop infernal assault of Sword Of Faith followed by the slow melodramatic White Stone. The eight-minute Jesus Saves leans towards the latter, shunning the frontal attack for a virulent but brainy dynamics, reminiscent of progressive hard-rock of the 1970s. That contradiction begat the tortured souls of Living Temples and especially Anathema Maranatha, torn between extreme grinding noise and insane emotional outbursts. The 12-minute Blessed Curse is built around the recitation of a preacher and the vocals do little more than scream while the drums keep a steady beat: the weight of the song is on the shoulders of the anthemic and distorted guitar. Ironically it ends up sounding like a faster, trippy version of a Cramps-ian rock'n'roll parody. The seven-minute Anti-Flesh Nimbus, the gothic peak of the album, is a slow march towards a blinding light. A choir celebrates the evil apotheosis. Maranatha used the foundations laid by Salvation to transcend genres and stage a universal drama.

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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