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Dark Funeral - Attera Totus Sanctus - 2005 - Regain Records

Track Listing
1. King Antichrist
2. 666 Voices Inside
3. Attera Totus Sanctus
4. Godhate
5. Atrium Regina
6. Angel Flesh Impaled
7. Feed on the Mortals
8. Final Ritual
Dark Funeral have always seemed to me something of the In Flames of black metal. Their ‘true-ness’ has been debated, their longevity doubted, their image decried as beyond gimmicky, not to mention the murmuring of ‘sell-outs’. I personally was quite impressed with ‘Diabolis Interium’, which contains the brilliantly acerbic opener, ‘The Arrival of Satan’s Empire’, a standout in the field of blistering black metal if I’ve ever heard one. I do sympathize somewhat with the opposition, though. Dark Funeral have always been a rather showy troupe, particularly evidenced by pseudonyms like ‘Lord Ahriman’ and ‘Emperor Magus Caligula’ and the beyond absurd photo-shoots that rival even Immortal in their hey-day.

‘Diabolis Interium’ was five years ago, though, and Dark Funeral have grown, matured, even, if the interviews with the band are to be believed. To an extent, I’m inclined to believe them. Though the cover art of ‘Attera Totus Sanctus’ is as obviously Satanic as ever, the word ‘Satan’ itself does not appear even once on this record. How peculiar for a band with an album named ‘Teach Children to Worship Satan’ lurking in their early discography.

So what changes have the years brought? Well, most significantly, the Emperor sounds older. This is somewhat akin to last year’s rumpus regarding Lord Worm’s return to Cryptopsy and the debate that followed concerning his ability to belt out the growls and shrieks as well as he once did. I don’t know that as many people care about Dark Funeral, but the transformation is similar nonetheless. Where Caligula once spewed forth his words with absolute diabolical intensity and hate, on ‘Attera Totus Sanctus’ he sounds as if he’s losing some of his strength. Perhaps ‘breathy’ is the right word to use. This does add an interesting element of rasp and shriek that is certainly not a bad thing for this sort of black metal, though. It is a little disconcerting at first, however, and requires a bit of getting used to.

The first time I put this album on, all vocal qualms aside, I was honestly quite impressed. I had expected Dark Funeral to pan out and become a by-the-numbers band from this point forward, but ‘King Antichrist’ puts such doubts to rest. The drums quickly adopt a terribly fast pace that is hardly reined in through the album’s entirety and riffs as black as ever, this track seemed solid if unspectacular. About a minute in, though, a thin and rather mournful melody enters (over what I presume to be the chorus), and changes the entire tone of the song to something haunting instead of simply violent.

Upon subsequent listens, ‘King Antichrist’ is probably the best track on the album and probably for that melody line alone, but there are other such snippets scattered throughout, and they make this album more than a rote exercise.

‘Attera Totus Sanctus’ will not draw many converts to black metal, but it is still a respectable release. Bridging the many gaps between the speed of the more old-school Marduk style and the flashiness and accessibility of modern groups, Dark Funeral refresh their position as one of the most iconic and steadfast black metal groups today, if not the most groundbreaking.




--Etiam 02.25.06

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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