For those living under the rock; Funeral Mist since the late nineties released the most intense sonic works under the black metal’s darkened wings. Helmed by Mortuus (from the black metal panzer battalion Marduk) which since the 2003s Salvation had become more of his one-man project in between the Marduk albums.
Only three years after the fantastic Hekatomb, Mortuus had delivered his new opus under the name of Deiform: an eerie, atmospheric black metal album with darkness just dripping from your stereo. Which in a way describes any work that Mortuus was involved in. I really could not tell was this guy ever in a bad or mediocre album.
The same counts with this album. The biggest difference in Marduk albums with Mortuus and Funeral Mist is that his vocals are here in full brilliance. While Marduk’s vocals are more subdued (those songs are meant to play live after all), here are in full swing. His vocal performance is really something else. Versatility is the first word that comes to mind; high, low, clean. The guy is all over the place, and it’s fucking glorious.
By atmosphere and musicality is perhaps the closest to 2003s Salvation album. For those who didn’t listen to the album let’s say it’s the closest thing to a sonic version of the apocalypse. A real watershed moment in the Swedish black metal scene. Deiform is not far behind from that.
The album starts with your standard add-on of eerie chants with a slow brooding rhythm before all hells broke loose with an intensity which is very familiar in Funeral Mist discography. I could go song by song but this review would last 9 pages, but every track has something to offer; “Twilight of the Flesh” like mentioned serves as an excellent opener to this hell on audio form. But the real deal starts with “In Here” with all guns blazing but with enough melody and hooks to have you smiling during the whole track.
And then transitions to the child choir:
“I lift my sight to the heavens and clench my hands. Thou beloved god who is the children’s friend, to you I turn my thought.” – Psalm 210
“Children of the Urns” went online before the whole albums, and for good fucking reason. Easily the album’s standout and very much closest thing to the Salvation era with its vibe. That moment where in the middle breaks down and Lars goes in the full Funeral Mist mode. Again, fucking glorious.
While “Children of the Urns” aggression is at times sparse, “Hooks of Hunger“ fucking makes up for it. Vocals from Mortuus shines like Satan in here.
Aside from his vocal delivery, his guitar work had to mention as well. Orthodox might be the closest thing, there is little traditional black metal in there. Sure there are intense as fuck riffing but his riffs will never come in the way of the atmosphere of the track. All instruments and effects are equal building blocks which makes a quality black metal track. The title track is a pure example of that. Sometimes less is more and it works when it’s implemented in the right way; a slow burn with a fantastic vibe.
Funeral Mist still stands of the finest Swedish black metal acts delivering the darkest and intense albums with an equal load of thought and matureness. It really captures the essence of what black metal should be and always be.
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