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Old Funeral - Our Condolences (1988-1992)

Old Funeral
Our Condolences (1988-1992)
by Keith Joshua Ham at 06 May 2013, 1:48 PM

It is my extreme pleasure to present all with the short-lived yet utterly fantastic OLD FUNERAL. This band was a pioneer within many genres and its echoes are felt even today, especially since members such as Abbath, Demonaz (both of which are part of legendary IMMORTAL) and Varg Virkernes (of BURZUM) were present and continue what heritage they had begun with “Our Condolences”. What you’ll experience here, however, is something slightly different from what you’d expect from its aforementioned famous members and their future projects. Where IMMORTAL is pure Black Metal and BURZUM atmospheric – OLD FUNERAL contained touches of death and extreme Metal which helped define the band as, not only Black Metal pioneers, but extreme Metal pioneers as well.

First off, to avoid confusion, “Our Condolences” is a complete compilation of OLD FUNERAL’s known works. Whereas Tom Warrior’s HELLHAMMER had a selection of beloved demos released in similar quality in a similar set, OLD FUNERAL’s collection and its quality jumps exponentially as the set goes on. As well, some of its middle tracks are live or covers. This does not affect the amazement you’ll feel towards OLD FUNERAL, as the jump in quality and vision that is present here is something beyond legendary. To accomplish so much in four short years is inhuman, especially at the time of inception.

As mentioned beforehand OLD FUNERAL contains touches of Death and extreme Metal mixed in, of course, with what is now considered traditional Black Metal However, it would be more accurate to say that the band was quite literally all of these genres effectively at once - what begins as very Black Metal assortment of music jumps to death, extreme, sometimes bass-laden Doom and back to Black. Honestly, I found myself extremely confused at its assortment and variety – sometimes it doesn’t even feel like the same band is playing at all.

Live tracks and covers are present throughout “Our Condolences” but you may want to skip them as, being recorded in 1988-1992, the quality leaves much to be desired. Bass often blows the sound to hell and a lot of audience chatter is heard (though, sometimes that can be a good thing). I wish I could recommend these parts but live recordings such as "Haunted", the most extreme example, are so subpar that the song is almost completely lost. And perhaps that statement encapsulates OLD FUNERAL almost perfectly. A collection of things almost completely lost – most certainly on the verge of being forgotten. Somehow it all survived until now to be presented as “Our Condolences” the final swan song of a long faded idea. Is it worth experiencing? I think so.

3 Star Rating

Disc 1
1. Intro
2. Aphis
3. Hell
4. Grandma Is a Zombie
5. Persecuted by Death
6. Disgusting Kind of Love
7. The Day of Judgement
8. Judged by Appearance (Agathocles cover)
9. Haunted
10. Skin and Bone
11. Abduction of Limbs
12. Devoured Carcass
13. Nocturnal Hell (Slaughter cover)
14. Incantation

Disc 2
1. Abduction of Limbs
2. Annoying Individual
3. Skin and Bone
4. Haunted
5. Incantation
6. Devoured Carcass
7. Forced to Be Lost
8. Alone Walking
9. Lyktemenn
10. Into Hades
11. My Tyrant Grace
12. Devoured Carcass (live at Hulen 1991)
Band's Various Lineups (1988-1992):
Olve “Abbath” Eikemo – Bass / Vocals
Kristian “Varg” Vikernes – Guitar
Tore Bratseth – Guitar
Jørn Inge Tunsberg – Guitar
Harald “Demonaz” Nævdal  – Guitar
Padden – Drums / Vocals
Thorlak Sigvaldason – Bass
Record Label: Soulseller Records


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