Dark Funeral, "Attera Totus Sanctus"
Sweden's Dark Funeral have always played dark, evil brutal black metal. Until they recruited Matte Modin from Defleshed to fill in on drums for Diabolis Interium, however, their music had seemed a little ordinary. With this addition on their last album, however, something clicked, and the band catapulted their music to a position that rivaled bands like Dissection and Naglfar, all the while harnessing the destructive speed Marduk and Arkhon Infaustus.
On Attera Totus Sanctus, Dark Funeral push forward with yet another helping of carnage from this now well-oiled killing machine. There are eight songs on this album, and all show the group's affinity for chilling melodic hooks played alongside blindingly fast drumming. Though what the band offers up here isn't exactly brand new, it's far faster than most, and far more interesting than the material from those very few bands that play more quickly. Moreover, the intensity of the vocal delivery easily surpasses your average black metal rasp, complimenting the fevered pace of the rest of the music quite nicely. Finally, the band smartly uses clean, cold production with the tiniest hint of fuzz along the edges to make the really sick parts of "Godhate" and "Angel Flesh Impaled" sound like fine sand running through your ears, giving the material on Attera Totus Sanctus a fresh and sinister bite.
This disc is Dark Funeral at their most accomplished to date. The music is truly threatening and oppressive despite the clean recording and the band's use of melody. And for this, or simply for the destructive power on the album, I'm sure there will be many a black metal fanatic claiming Attera Totus Sanctus as one of their favorites for the year.