I’ve always found it a little sad that DARK FUNERAL have put all their energy into the “all fast songs all the time” routine. I’m certainly not against the idea, especially since I think HATE ETERNAL is actually able to write compelling songs that are always fast, but DARK FUNERAL has made a conscious choice to go in a direction where it’s hard to be creative. I guess the formula has worked for them so far, as evidenced by the headlining show I was able to see them on.
What’s great about DARK FUNERAL is the simple fact that the riffs contain a lot of catchy lines flowing underneath, which unfortunately lose a lot of their impact being buried under a wall of blast beats. It truly is “unrelenting” as many press releases have said in the past, but at the same time you can only take so many pummeling hits before you become numb to it.
In case you’re wondering about “Vobiscum Satanas”, it’s the first album with new vocalist Emperor Magus Caligula. As soon as he jumped on board, all the full-length album titles went with Latin titles, which always made it hard for me to tell them apart. That makes “Vobiscum Satanas” the one with the blurry gargoyle head on the cover, “Diabolis Interium” the one with the weird four horned demon looking guy with all the chains on the cover, and “Attera Totus Sanctus” the one with the winged demon on the cover.
What this reissue of “Vobiscum Satanas” has is some bonus live songs from 1998. It’s not surprising that DARK FUNERAL pretty much plays a picture perfect rendition of their studio albums in a live setting. The live songs sound a bit like they were recorded near the end of the set, because the guitars seem like they’ve been beaten a little out of tune.
It’s a little difficult for me to suggest DARK FUNERAL as a black metal band to get above some other bands of the genre to any fan of extreme music, especially those impressionable metalcore/emo kids I get so much exposure too. And who also pretty much show up to every “tr00” or “real metal” show now anyways. “Vobiscum Satanas” is of course for those Dark Funeral fans who don’t have the earlier albums, and would like to add more to their collection.