Black Metal is chiefly characterized by vocals that sound like Edith Bunker from “All in the Family” although some bands have decided to actually have masculine vocals, if only briefly. Black Metal riffs feature more dissoant chords and are more simple, or basic, and can sometimes even be described as “thrashy.” The drums are also usually more basic, and the same simple beat can last for long duration without a fill.
The last time when I heard something with a slightly similar feeling was the band “Black Pentacost” which featured anguished yelling, as of someone being tortured. The music seemed to serve as a ritual rather than as songs.
This album bears some of that, but there are words, and the vocals are more varied, sometimes sounding like psychotics who are wailing while suffering mental horrors, and at other times there is black metal rasping or spoken words, but each flavor is heavily demented. This is like a legion of demons.
The strangeness of this album is enough to merit a purchase. The dark creativity and the atmosphere of derangement provide immense pleasure if heard in the right mood. then again, simply listening can place you where you must be.
This is quite an odd album. When I first heard a random spot, I expected black metal, and indeed, I did get the sense that this comes from that world, but the album has no known category, which is good.
The voices are not the screechy bitch-vocals of black metal – they are more on the exasperated shouting side, mixed with the melancholy folk sort of singing.
The music ranges from unusual timing and long riffs. to more straightforward and recognizable passages, but the songs seem to have been made to put the listener in a strange place. Even the upbeat portions have something twisted going on, as if a mad clown attempted to play something catchy, but is so bonkers that the otherwise accessible tune becomes demented.
There are bursts of aggression, but that’s just an ingredient in this insanity-potion, not the main flavor. Add to this, non-English lyrics, making this a welcome visit to another realm.
Enjoy this video interview with Dark Funeral. It is 100 % raw. No color correction, no audio processing, no boogers. The polished version will appear on BLACK METAL: THE ULTIMATE DOCUMENTARY as well as METAL RETARDATION #5
You should start your journey with the second track “Her Name” which has vocals that remind me of a spirit being summoned to speak warnings, or of a mystic uttering in trance. Without further delay, let me list a stream of it for you.
At times, I am reminded of experimental Voivod, which is quite pleasing. This is my first venture into Hornwood Fell, but I am impressed enough to seek out their earlier albums. I had to enlist a friend to obtain this one directly from the label because no merchant near me had any information for getting it into the stores, and the Internet options were bare. I am sure that this has been corrected since those days. I had a promotional version and wanted to show my support with an actual purchase, as I do with every band that has made music that affected me.
interview with Agathon conducted by Bill Zebub for issue #23 of THE GRIMOIRE OF EXALTED DEEDS
Thy vocals are destined to become legend. Have other bands tried to lure thee onto their albums? Thy vocals can instantly make any album sound cool.
Thanks. I do little parts in Soulgrind’s albums and I did few whole songs when I was in Thy Serpent. Actually I don´t think that vocals on Blood… were good enough. Since then I have sung more and I think that in “Life?” all went far more better. I tried nothing… just screamed.
Was Whisper used because of her extreme beauty? I think I am still in love with her.
She´s free now. Come here and try to pick her up… She was my girlfriend and since we broke up she didn´t want to be in any contact with me. So, we decided that in “Life?” we are not going to use any female vocals, and synths replaced her. Actually, in my opinion, that was very good decision, and we are not going back with female vocals. Synths can´t make you crazy…
If Hitler were to come again, dost thou think that he would get away with the same practices of torture and slaughter? Would the majority of society join him? That is a rhetorical question. By the same reasoning, why is it that the majority of society embrace Christianity when it is responsible for MANY holocausts, not just one? We all know about the Inquisition, and the Crusades, and even of the bloodbaths between Catholics and Protestants. But there was much more systematic slaughter of entire sects, like when Pope Innocent III ordered 30,000 Cathars to be slain, regardless of them being women, children, and elderly. Thy lyrics have a poetic anti-Christian stance. I wonder what has made thee take such a position because thou art far from a rebellious teen-ager who just wants to defy his parents.
At first my lyrics were pure Satanic, because they told of the things which happened when I was 15. In “Life?” all the lyrics tells about the visions what I saw when I was at hospital at summer ‘98 and was in coma few days. I am not worshiping none but myself. Bible was only written to dominate people and keep them quiet. I still think that “evil”, like christians think it, is more pure than any kind of “goodness”. Actually, in my opinion, there is no such things as evil or good. There is only different happenings and people. Satan represent to me that animalish, pure side of man, which every christian try to deny. All religion try to deny humans’ real feelings. I try to be like animal, which lives through its instincts. So-called goodness is always learned from somewhere, but your instincts are pure. If I feel I want to be nice to somebody I can be, but if I don´t feel like it I don´t have to be. That’s simple and I can´t understand that shit what christians try to feed to everybody… that we have to love each others even thou they are fuckers to us. Christianisms were brought here with sword, so how they can say they love us? All religions come from people… without people there is no Satan or God. We are the only ones who really dominate.
Thy music is neither death metal nor black metal, but the vocals and thy affiliations suggest that thou art more a fan of black metal. Is this true?
Many have said that our music is “Horror Movie Metal” and I agree. In fact, I am big fan of old school thrash and black metal like Slayer, Exodus,Venom, Bathory et cetra. Agathon is more like feeling and He works through Gloomy Grim. I don´t want to be personalized as Agathon from Gloomy Grim, because most of the time I am not that person. If people start to believe what I preach then all my work has gone in the sand. I want people to think by themselves, and Agathon can only give guidance, but not exact ways to think.
As thy popularity grows I am sure that there will be a demand to see thee perform at fests. Is that something thou wilt deny?
Hope it does… I don´t have any reason why we could not make gigs. Actually, we were at France at April with S.U.P and Divion Alpha.
We had 7 gigs in there and I was amazed how well we were known there. We used DAT tape for the synths and drums. Of course, guitars, bass, and vocals were live. After the next album I think that we are using real drummer at the stage too, but that is someone else than me. I want to keep Black Mass at the stage.
Hast thou ever grown disillusioned by being signed to Holy Records? It is not very easy to get their titles in America, and I would think that Gloomy Grim has a market here.
Not this far. They have done great job for us. I don´t know the situation at America, but I assume that at least in Europe Holy´s records are well distributed.
This is black metal that has stayed away from the gay screeching, so I was more receptive. If you get the album, listen to “Rapace Planare” first. The song goes through some interesting changes toward the end, foreshadowed by heavy phaser on the guitar. Suddenly you will hear crooning. These clean vocals fit perfectly and are pleasingly sung with a dark quality.
Yes, this album has black metal traits, like dissonant chords, but it’s a dynamic offering with some heavier elements that are not common in that style.