The general reaction I get while listening to Abdication Under a Funeral Dirge is somewhere along the lines of ”Shit…this is some REAL black metal craftsmanship right here…”, it’s just so unmistakably mysterious and spectral while simultaneously intense to the point of electrifying. If you don’t get a jolt from some of the hysterical bursts of wolfish howls or the obliterating drum blasts, then you’re probably still frozen in shock as the mausoleum atmosphere. Grim Funeral really do create a legitimately eerie sort of Victorian horror tale told through haunted melodic black metal with decent production and hints of depressive (suicidal (?)) black metal and even doom not too far removed from what a blending of Bethlehem and Benighted in Sodom could produce, especially during moments of “I.II Grim Funeral Elegy into the Twilight of Humanity”.
Complete with old bell tower tolls and a torrential downpour of rain in the background it’s not difficult to feel a sense of Bram Stoker or even Poe, plus when you add the fact that the song, like most on here, is fairly lengthy clocking in at 15-minutes and loaded with morbid insanity you feel more like you’re experiencing an epic horror drama from mid 1800’s London full of funeral parlor necromancy and audio coverage of a lycanthropic ceremony as opposed to a black metal song. And where I’ve chosen this song as an example I must also state that this isn’t entirely unique to just this song, every song on here is along the same lines in terms of composure and how they play out but what what really sends the chill up my spine is how, even though the production is really crisp and the recording is current, it still captures the mind as it being a cryptic underground supernatural cult phenomena captured on old Victrola wax slabs from Victorian England. You can almost feel the fog sprawling over the damp tattered streets in the eerie throat vocals of “II.I Human Funeral Throne” where the supernatural tone takes on a truly realistic necromantic presence as the rhythm exchanges back and forth between a bursting pattern of longer tremolo picked wail and no drums whatsoever, to a sudden deathly still pause, and then ignites into an inferno of demonic raving backed by blasting percussion and a wall of siren-like black metal power chords. Here I can really feel benighted in Sodom in the instrumental sounds but with more of a bizarre lunatic, speaking in tongues, vibe and wicked blast beat drumming also bringing some Ash Borer and Nortt to mind.
And even with that said I also can’t overlook emphasizing the effect that the multiple personalities in the vocals, typically ranging from a throaty ghoulish reverberation from Hell to maniacal howling werewolf rant set amidst a background of cleaner black metal guitar wails and crashes, which further amplify the haunting Victorian poltergeist presence. From start to finish your mind will completely frozen and shattered by the torrent of insanity as you feel as if you have suddenly fallen of the edge of the world and then suddenly, right before you can fully absorb what is happening in freefall, you are jerked back on the edge peering over again knowing you will be going off the edge once again. EVERY song on the album does this mind fuck repetition of a shocking experience that is cut short right before the onset of actual full acknowledgement of it only to immediately reset back to the moment right before. Just imagine it as one of those dreams in which you dream that you are actually falling and your body reacts to it in real time resulting in you suddenly jerking awake in real life but then you are immediately being rendered unconscious once begin to realize this and then fall again, and this happens again and again until you are in a horrific sleep-wake-sleep paralysis cycle and you are even aware of it but yet you still cannot stay awake to break the torturing cycle. Phew!!!!
Q: Crazy stuff?
Q: Excellent Black Metal?
A: HELL FUCKING YES!!!!
This is so good that it’s almost ridiculous.
Check ’em out for yourself: