Dark Funeral

Dark Funeral MCD
(Hellspawn - 1994)
Basically a mix between the more melodic and catchy Dissection, and the darker, Norwegian-style Marduk black metal. The music alternates between fast catchy melodies to powerfully dark rhythms and textures and it changes enough to keep things moving and interesting. The vocals consist of either Marduk-style, harsh screams or a more death-ish low growl and often both are mixed together to create some hellish vocal effects. A well executed and good album albeit nothing really unique or creative, but if you can't get enough of this style, this is a solid purchase. Just keep in mind that 2 out of 4 of the tracks were remade in the forthcoming LP as well.
The Secrets Of The Black Arts
(No Fashion - 1995)
Intent on proving their evil worth, Dark Funeral discard a lot of their catchy Dissection influences and push their Marduk sound to the front. Increased power and speed is the name of the game and they pull this off well, only unfortunately this time, they lack variety and dynamic creativity. Many of the song sections are interchangeable and the brutal speed remains constant most of the time. The songs, taken individually, are quite tight, powerful and enjoyable, but alas, the repetition really stands out when playing the whole album. One way to listen to this is to stop paying attention to what they are doing and just experience the dark message and power in the music (yes, the wall-of-sound effect). They handle their instruments well and the raspy vocals are sometimes joined with an effect-ridden daemon-like growl, adding to the overall hellish sound. If you enjoy this style and don't mind the lack of variety, by all means pick this one up. In other words, this is a worthy album even with the repetition but they won't get many merit points.

The Last Exit 1996-

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