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Dark Funeral
Diabolis Interium

Company: Regain Records
Release: 2007
Reviewer: Etiam
Genre: Black
Rating
3.5



  • The strength of this re-issue lies with its second disc, a re-mastered EP with covers



  • Though some in the black metal scene dismiss them as a punchline, Dark Funeral has still been one of the genre's most successful and tirelessly anti-Christian voices over the past decade. Of the founding members, only Lord Ahriman remains, but the leading presence and lyrics of Magus Caligula have become just as integral to the band's identity. Together, the two have taken the group towards greater success and overcome great adversity, shaking their fist at God with admirable diligence all the while.

    Perhaps on no release is this Satanic synergy more apparent than on 'Diabolis Interium'. Released in 2001, this was Caligula's second outing as the band's vocalist and, aside from a couple of EP's and a split with Infernal, is the finest example of mid-era Dark Funeral. Some may say that it's a 'samey' release, and to an extent that is true, since most songs rely on classic two-bar guitar leads and simple song formulas. But this is a common trait of black metal, and with some listening time invested, 'Diabolis Interium' proves to be more diverse than some acknowledged classics (e.g. 'Transilvanian Hunger').

    The disc opens with its strongest track and still one of their finest to date,'The Arrival of Satan's Empire', which Caligula always introduces live as, "a very beautiful day..." Indeed, though countless black metal groups have employed this kind of opening salvo--an ominous riff that swells into a blastbeat and is capped by the vocalist's most unholy exclamation--it still sounds fresh and venomous when executed by Dark Funeral. Caligula's vocals are not placed too highly in the mix, which helps give Ahriman's guitars some extra punch, but he still cuts through with a stunning, 14-second shriek that slides directly into the verse. Some other notable tracks include 'An Apprentice For Satan', 'Hail Murder', and the title track--each exploring subtle differences of the larger theme with precision and consistency.

    Chances are, though, that most Dark Funeral fans are aware of all this and have already have purchased the album. Therefore, the strength of this re-issue lies with its second disc, a re-mastered version of the band's 2000 EP 'Teach Children to Worship Satan'. Remixing in black metal rarely has much of an impact, but in this instance the effect is quite notable. The only track from 'Diabolis...' that reappears is 'An Apprentice of Satan', and when played side by side with the LP version the difference is readily apparent. At slight expense of the guitars, the rest of the instruments and Caligula's vocals are much clearer. Caligula's bass lines, while not quite as serpentine or notable as those of Marduk's famed B War, contribute significantly to the track. We can also hear much more of Matte Modin's crisp percussion, especially during the fills. The rest of the EP is comprised of cover tracks--Sodom, Slayer, King Diamond, and Mayhem--and Caligula actually does a better job adapting his voice to fit each number than one would predict (King Diamond especially). Still, after the upgrade in quality heard on 'An Apprentice of Satan', a re-master of the 'Diabolis...' LP would have been more welcome than one for the EP.

    In any case, 'Diabolis Interium' remains Dark Funeral's flagship release, and with good reason. Though not the brightest (inverted) star in the black metal panoply, theirs is a discography that deserves to be re-issued.


    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: DARK FUNERAL
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Attera Totus SanctusDark Funeral
    2005
    Etiam5/16/2006
    De Profundis Clamavi ad te DomineDark Funeral
    2005
    Veritas7/25/2005
    Diabolis InteriumDark Funeral
    2007
    Etiam3/21/2008
    Secrets of the Black ArtsDark Funeral
    2007
    Etiam5/5/2009
    Vobiscum SatanasDark Funeral
    1998
    Etiam9/19/2008
    Where Shadows Forever ReignDark Funeral
    2016
    Greg Watson7/6/2016


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: DARK FUNERAL

    No Summary reviews currently exist for them.


    ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: DARK FUNERAL
    INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


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