Funeral Mist Hekatomb
Norma Evangelium Diaboli records
Frist I was acquainted with this band during the Marduk‘s Plague Angel album era. A sonic polar opposite to bands digital and catchy tunes of World Funeral, Marduk although still fast and brutal to their right, they almost stepped in more commercial ground. And then Plague Angel happened.
Different line-up, different sound, and a different vocalist: Mortuus. From the first glimpse at him you realize that something is different with this guy and if you checked his work before entering Marduk you knew why Morgan was eyeballing him since Legion left the band.
Funeral Mist although in their early days started as a full band, the line up soon was scattered to the four winds with Mortuus (or Arioch if you wish) who started as a bass player had taken reigns over the band, with Nachash on guitars Necromorbus on drums and producers seat and released maybe their most important work in their carrier: Salvation in 2003.
If there is a soundtrack to utter evil and hellish destruction transferred in to a sound format Salvation is damn close to that. Over an hour of blistering darkening assault with Mortuus behind the microphone sounding like the lord of the deepest underworld.
Soon after the band dissolved into a side project of Mortuus as he stepped in Marduk a year later and took quite a while to get ”Salvations” successor Maranatha in 2009. Although a quite solid record its compared with its previous album and its sonically similar to Marduk’s Wormwood which was released the same year. To be honest Maranatha is inferior to both mentioned records, but the timing was just not right for the album to released.
After a quite long gap between records (eight years) Mortuus had conjured up a new Funeral Mist record Hekatomb. Similar to Marduk˙s Viktoria, it pretty much came out of nowhere. And by the devil, did we need one.
First thing that you will notice in the album is a different vocal delivery from Mortuus. This is the thing that Morgan from Marduk was always saying about him; Mortuus uses his voice almost as a weapon and is beyond a one trick pony guy who can just growl or scream.
The guy is all over the place in the album, just like in every Funeral Mist record. Hekatomb is no exception. The albums starts in a minimalistic slow burn way with first two tracks ”In Nomine Domini” and ‘Naught but Death” but after that it starts firing on all satanic cylinders that you can imagine and does not stop to the last note. Songs like ”Cockatrice” and ”Metamorphosis” definitely one of the highlights. They really do capture the eerie formula from the bands older days.
On the other hand, this must be of one most aggressive material Mortuus was involved in, so much that at times it reminds me of the Swedish band Triumphator (other band in which was Mortuus involved in the past). Especially when the insane guitar solos come over a fast section. I’m sure eight guys who are familiar with Triumphator know what I’m talking about.
Production here is spot on, done again like Maranatha in Endarker studio with Devo as engineer but it captures the feel of the Salvation album. Speaking of Marduk members, their previous drummer Lars is back for this recording. It’s good to see/hear the guy behind the drum set after his serious back problems.
If your hunger was not completely sated with Marduk˙s Victoria, you are gonna have a hell of a feast on this. Very recommended!