Release DetailsLABEL Candlelight
RELEASED ON 11/29/2005
Attera Totus Sanctus
posted on 12/2005 By:
No introduction is really necessary here as I can’t really imagine a black metal fan that hasn’t come across these Swedes. Despite their reputation and popularity in many circles, I do have to admit I was skeptical at first of the new Dark Funeral album Attera Totus Sanctus. I’d been an on and off listener of Dark Funeral quite a few years. Especially considering they were one of the first black metal bands I was exposed to, but I’d never really taken them that seriously (anyone remember “The Master of Diabolical Possession & Black Magick”?). I thought Secret of the Black Arts was by far one of the more scathingly aggressive albums I had heard outside Marduk, but i also found it to be rather monotonous and boring. I thought Diabolis Interium was just a load of overhyped crap. As I put this CD into my stereo I kept reminding myself: Don't believe the hype.
Damn, was I surprised. I actually found myself seriously enjoying this CD. This album is by far the most imaginative Dark Funeral album, yet it doesn’t betray their misanthropic, blasting style of Swedish black metal they’re so renowned for. If you like your black metal with melodic interludes, tempo changes, and soft alluring keyboards you’re shit out of luck. If you’re not a fan of the style, chances are you wont like this album at all. But, If you’re thing is blasphemous extermity ala Belphegor and Marduk this album is the extreme exercise in violent blasphemy you’ve been looking for. From start to finish this album is pure unrelenting aggression.
Daniel Bergstrand's (In Flames, Meshuggah, Strapping Young Lad, Behemoth) phenomenal job of recording helps facilitate and bring to life the unrelenting sound of Dark Funeral. The production has very little room for improvement as the whole sound is brought together into a tight burst of sonic energy. My only complaints about the sound is Emperor Magus Caligula’s vocals and that the guitar is a bit overshadowed by the drums. The vocals sound slightly removed from the rest of the music and there’s just something about his tone that doesn’t sound quite right here. Other than that, there is an undeniably powerful sound. The drums are crisp and somewhat clinical sounding, but this isn’t a negative point as the somewhat inhuman sound only adds to the pummeling abrasiveness. I have to say that the percussion is the driving force behind the hate. Lord Ahriman’s guitar has the same saturated, overly distorted sound I loved so much in Immortal.
What’s best about the music on Attera Totus Sanctus is Dark Funerals knack for subtly interjecting haunting, dark melody while the core of the music remains sharply precise and straightforward. “King Antichrist” kicks off the album with rapid-fire blasts and unrelenting black metal, setting the warzone that is about to follow. “666 voices inside” continues along a similar path with a straightforward and unrelenting methodicalness. Album namesake “Attera Totus Sanctus” is a great example of how Dark Funeral can twist melody into a razor sharp melee of violence with its malevolent opening and spiteful rancor. Though this is mainly a straightforward album with few tempo shifts, the epic majesty closer “Final Ritual” offers an interestingly apocalyptic finale to the release. There is a noticeable lack of variation that causes some of the less noticeable songs like “Feed on Mortals” and “Godhate” to bleed together in a blur of fury, but the intensity never falters. If their had been more distinction between songs it would have helped the album from running together so much. The sound is clear and powerful, all marked by a frightening precision. This album isn’t for everyone, but I do recommend giving it a chance if you’ve never been a big fan of this style of black metal. It’s nothing groundbreaking or innovative, but I must say it’s one hell of a fun listen that stays interesting with time. After four years, Dark Funeral is back and I must say they’ve brought the legions of Hell with them.
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Attera Orbis Terrarum - Part 1
11/6/2007 Dark Funeral
De Profundis Clamavi ad te Domine