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
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
Anathema Maranatha, torn between extreme grinding noise and insane
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
Maranatha used the foundations laid by Salvation to transcend
genres and stage a universal drama.
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