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Funeral Winds – Gruzelmenten Award winner

Funeral Winds
by Will Travers at 07 February 2022, 5:50 AM

Oh that Dutch Black Metallist FUNERAL WINDS is at it again. You may, or may not have noticed that Hellchrist dropped a new album at the tail end of 2021. Titled “Gruzelmenten” (roughly translated to grievances I believe, or so Google Translate tells me!), this 6 track Cult Black Metal album is sure to be full of everything that we have loved about the genre, of course with Hellchrist’s own twinges and nuances to add to the quality. The artwork for the record is interesting, the monochromatic image is simple, but somewhat striking in its own right and would slot well into any library out there.

Opening is “Dark Rays Of His Splendour”, and instantly it puts you on the edge of your seat. Its beginnings are atmospheric, dark and foreboding… But don’t be fooled, once the main body of tracking kicks in, it erupts to life. Aggression and brutality are clearly the order of the day with this album as relentless blast beats and a riff that just batters against my eardrums deliver wave upon wave of cathartic Black Metal and I can feel myself relaxing into my chair. Next came “The Age Of Fire” and again, it is full throttle all the way. The instrumentals and vocals flow seamlessly from section to section, whilst the intense wall of music continues its barrage against my headphones and me. But, it is wholly enjoyable as everything is just clicking together, you could even be forgiven for thinking that Hellchrist has some experience in all this…

The titular “Gruzelmenten” once again just assaults you from the word go. The aggression levels are still at a peak, seemingly to be unwavering and the foot has stayed planted firmly on the gas pedal. “Lunar Darkness” and “Night Of Reckoning” continue along in this style too. Full of intense and dark music, they are just some really great examples, to me, of some Black Metal. But “The Sword Of Satan” really does close out the record in style. It is the perfect example of the album. With intense riffs, some subtle articulations within the tracking that really elevates the musicality of the track and a chorus that begs to be chanted and screamed by a loving crowd, I mean it just really ticks all the boxes for me.

Overall, a solid release. FUNERAL WINDS“Gruzelmenten” is just a fantastic example of what Black Metal should be. Sure there are the BEHEMOTHs and WATAINs out there that have morphed the genre slightly and added their own stamp to their music (along with some considerable backing to reach the heights they have) but FUNERAL WINDS offers solid Black Metal for seasoned veterans of the genre, and for those looking to expand their libraries. So be sure to check them out.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 10
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Dark Rays Of His Splendour
2. The Age Of Fire
3. Gruzelementen
4. Lunar Darkness
5. Night Of Reckoning
6. The Sword Of Satan
Hellchrist Xul – Everything
Record Label: Independent


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