2007, Regain Records
Dark Funeral, "Vobiscum Satanas"
At first I didnít understand why, but I had ignored Dark Funeralís early work pretty ritualistically. When Matte Modin took up the kit, however, I could no longer turn the other way as these blasphemous Swedes musically pledged their souls to the Dark One. You may be in the same boat as me, wondering whether your judgment had been massively impaired, because their last couple discs have been some serious works in high-quality black metal. So, when given the opportunity to check out the remastered, reissued Vobiscum Satanas and see what I had been denying myself, I happily took it.
The bandís third disc sounds very much like nondescript '90s-style semi-melodic black metal. Lots and lots of blasting, many painfully similar sounding songs, and aside from production that I would now call thin-but-cold-and-effective, there isnít that much worth writing home about. Have you heard Dissection, have you lost your soul to Naglfarís first couple albums? Then as Officer Barbrady might say in his halfway-to-retarded cop voice, ďThereís nothing to see here, move along.Ē Basically, this disc is kind of fun and easy to listen to, but by now youíve heard about three dozen other bands play this exact kind of material; most of them do no better (and, in all fairness, no worse). Sure, Dark Funeral have some interesting moments and occasionally even surprise with a great deep, death vocal segment that works well atop the vanilla-mayhem, but in all, the moneyís with the bandís most recent releases, and no amount of reissuing, repackaging, remastering or live bonus material is going to save the genuinely bland songwriting on this disc. The bandís great now, but they werenít as great when they wrote Vobiscum Satanas.
Enriched by Evil