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Black Funeral – Scourge Of Lamashtu

Black Funeral
Scourge Of Lamashtu
by Aurora Kuczek at 14 July 2020, 10:18 AM

Arising from Texas comes forth a black metal band entitled, BLACK FUNERAL. The band formed in 1993, and has put out ten full length albums, not to mention compilation and EPs. Their most recent release entitled, “Scourge Of Lamashtu,” which came about early this month. The project discovers a way to blend together elements of atmospheric, doom, Viking, and old school black metal to create something quite interesting. The way that they did this successfully was adding the creepy ambience sounds at the beginning, and sometimes end, to each track to have some form of continuity. Though I believe there were many filler tracks and only two songs stuck out the most, I think their ideas are varied from other projects enough so to distinguish their own originality.

Kassaptu Lemuttu” creates a groaning wind that flows delicately in the trees. A faint whisper hides within. The grass settles and the mind is mesmerized. A synth comes into focus, before instruments come forth from the thin air. Abruptly, a tune of harsh noise takes over the solemnness. Drums beat punk-like. The guitars follow the movement of the voice as it screams jarringly. A high pitch sound breaks the surface. There is a shift in melody and notes are dragged out further with synths that have an off noted tune. A second breakdown occurs where uncomfortable-to-the-ear notes are played as if it were an ambulance from a different world. “The Vampyric Rabisu At The Threshold” features a spacious synth and unrecognizable sounds. It is very sci-fi oriented, though creepy enough where one feels trapped in a space with no edges. Guitars move under this air before blowing towards the top and becoming whole. The track exhibits the same rhythm as the last though this is more upbeat in some sense. The beats of the drums quicken and guitars tremolo pick. As the song progresses, the drums double kick and the strange chaos progresses. Notes of the guitars let go of their pace for a moment’s time to let the sounds further. The track ends similarly to the air it started with.

Nergal (Lord Who Prowls By Night)” makes for an uneven echo that resounds through an aired chamber. The mind begins to sting so much so that the eyes close. They reopen as the guitars move smoothly after being introduced. The drums feel as though they do not match their overall surroundings. The voice is similar as before, but more intangible. Though quite catchy melodious wise, the song is not quite their best as the rhythms are overdramatic and the paces do not match up well with one another. The tone changes to a higher version before the track dulls into the format it began with. “Seven Udug-Hul” introduces ancestral drums and hallow screams suppressed by some entity out of a dusty atmosphere. A rope is twisted and swayed. The music is birthed from this in a melodic fashion, yet gains speed as this continues on. As before, the pace is quite off from one instrument to the other. The guitars exhibit more characteristics and this is somber yet gracious. The song carries with a majestic and unknown fashion until a breakdown occurs. Here the bass shifts the ideas of the song drastically and is harmonized with other portions of the track to formulate something that is magnificent. Out of the entropic nature, one can understand the feeling. Abruptly this is halted for the madness.

Scourge Of Lamashtu (She Who Strangles The Lamb)” opens with the same strangeness as before with off-sounding piano notes. Rattling and a middle eastern voice that does fit the previous are heard. Howls moan in the ethereal. In a similar fashion, the music erupts from this and comes forth from abstractness. The guitars have more of a voice and are rooted in the same format of notes but with a different combination. The drums beat calmly and the voice overtakes the night. If stripped to just the guitars, the piece would have more of a substance that would be pleasureful. A shift occurs where the guitars move with disarray through the notes and rhythm follows. The track ends with the spacious creepiness it began with. “Gidim Hul (Bloodthirst Of The Demonic Dead)” is quite diverse. Fire breathes its air into a cavass and a reverberance occurs. Air moves stilly and a tail splashes through the water to conquer the fire. Drums come from static and guitars move with importance. The voice talks in a screaming sense, and then growls into the notes. This track feels more ancestral with elements from Viking metal. Quite memorable, this is the epitome of their ideas, and what they seem to strive to be. Echoed shifts allow the music to be quite atmospheric with beatific synths, but also allow the notes to be whimsical. As the song moves further the notes blend with one another and allow for an inspiring and differentiated piece to the album. I believe this to be their best piece. Though perhaps not completely original, it offered more depth to the band. “Pazuzu King Of The Lilu-Demons” ends the album with a storm that brews, and small organ notes are heard eerily throughout this. The off keyed organ formulates the basis of the song and when this stops, screams are heard within. For the final song, I had hoped for something with more intensity and depth.

BLACK FUNERAL’s “Scourge Of Lamashtu” is an engaging creation that at times is alluring, but also chaotic. Continuity was kept only through the ambience, and ideas were compressed to fit this creation. Their longest track, “Gidim Hul (Bloodthirst Of The Demonic Dead)” was perhaps their most diverse creation, yet exceedingly powerful, though they do not stick with elements from this and instead used stranger notes that have less meaning. Though I do think originality was in question at parts of the tracks, I feel that with the ambience, the project has managed to create something enticing.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Kassaptu Lemuttu
2. The Vampyric Rabisu At The Threshold
3. Nergal (Lord Who Prowls By Night)
4. Seven Udug-Hul
5. Scourge Of Lamashtu (She Who Strangles The Lamb)
6. Gidim Hul (Bloodthirst Of The Demonic Dead)
7. Pazuzu King Of The Lilu-Demons
Lineup:
Akhtya Nachttoter – Howling, Incantations, and Black Ambient Soundscapes
Azgorh Drakenhof – Guitars, Bass, and Keyboards
An Unnamed Spirit – Drums
Record Label: Iron Bonehead Productions
     


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Edited 04 August 2020
 

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