Friday, December 23, 2011

Dark Funeral - Attera Totus Sanctus


The space of time in between Dark Funeral releases gets bigger and bigger each time. But recently, since the release of Diabolis Interium, the albums have been getting better, and Attera Totus Sanctus is the best album Dark Funeral has put out so far. Although this is considered by most to be the start of a decline in the quality and originality in Dark Funeral’s music, this album has still won the place of one of my favorite black metal albums. Attera Totus Sanctus is the biggest sign of Dark Funeral’s boost in maturity and musicianship, even though they already expressed that very well with Diabolis Interium. Around this point in the band’s career, they were finally recognized as not being a stereotypical “poseur” Satanic band; they were rather considered true and real to the religion (which is how I proudly consider them).

I’m not going to talk too much about their history because I talk about that enough in my reviews their other albums previous to this one. So because of that, I’m just going to jump into talking about Attera Totus Sanctus. First, I would like to point something out. Look at the color of the album cover on their first two albums; notice a similarity? Then, look at the color of the album covers of the three albums that were released after that and unless you’re colorblind, you should notice a slight lack of creativity as far as color scheme goes. Now I find it ok if a band has most of their album covers in black and white, but when they have actual color in the album cover, and when it’s only one color, and when it’s used in more than two albums in a row, that’s when there’s an obvious lack of creativity and need to make something interesting. Plus, I actually find the Attera Totus Sanctus album cover quite unattractive, so I “made” my own version (I found the background picture on Google, pasted on the band logo, and fixed the band logo and the background image a little bit to make it look awesome, I’ve added a link to the album cover at the bottom of the review).

When Diabolis Interium came out, people thought “there is no way that their drummer can go faster than this!” That is, until this album hit the shelves. Now before any of you call me a pirate, I plan on buying all of their albums (except for their second one) when I see them in February, but I have a system where I download all of my music, then if I love the album, I will decide that the band deserves my money and go out and buy a physical copy. So the downloaded version I have right now is missing the first track, so I’m going to leave it up to you to hear about it because I haven’t taken the time to look it up. I do though, have the rest of the album and can tell you that it’s like nothing you’ve ever heard before, I’ll guarantee you that.

The volume of all of the instruments is balanced out perfectly; none of the instruments are drowning everything else out. I’m especially glad that they turned the drums down a little bit because even though it’s one of the quieter instruments, you can still hear the impossible speeds it’s achieving. The best example of this is Godhate. Unlike their previous albums, there is actually some softer stuff off this record as well as the heavier songs being much more melodic. There is much more of a progressive sound on this album, especially in one of the songs.

Atrum Regina is not a traditional black metal sound. The beginning starts out with a low bass tone that is soon pierced with the tranquilizing sound of the lead guitar playing a slow, almost sorrowful line. This is a slower song, with the kick drums going at a steadier pace. Even though all of the instruments are filled with emotion, melody, and color, Emperor Magus Caligula’s vocals impale the air with the sounds of pure anger and controlled insanity that gives the song its real edge. This is one of those songs that give me that buzzy, almost jittery feeling inside and I highly recommend that you at least look this song up and let it engulf you.

Godhate used to be my favorite song off of this record. It’s one of the fast songs off the record and has some of the angriest and most hateful sounds of any black metal song I’ve ever heard. I’ve always wondered how long it takes before the drummer gets fatigued. But that sparks the question, what happens first: does the drummer get fatigued first? Or do his arms fall off first? I’m half assuming that the opening track is a slower piece that blends into the blazing 666 Voices Inside.

Although many of my reviews are generally positive, this album is one of my favorites that for some reason I feel a special connection to. There is one question, I noticed that both their drummer and their vocalist left after the release of their 2010 record (still on good terms with the band) and that they’ve since replaced them; my question is: are they any good? Because I’m going to see these guys in February and I don’t want to be disappointed. So I would like to see some of you that have heard/seen their new lineup comment on this review saying that they’re still good or they suck. This album gets a high 19/20, but very close to being a perfect score.