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Music Review: Dark Funeral, Angelus Exuro Pro Eternus

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Sweden's Dark Funeral has always been known to push the limits with their music. Sometimes it comes down to the content, and sometimes the fans. On Angelus Exuro Pro Eternus, Dark Funeral test the waters of loyalty with an album that holds true to their fury but also throwing in some different elements that were rarely seen on previous works. The real question is… would fans (like myself) approve or disapprove?

Angelus… starts out strong, and similar, to their other albums with the relentless "The End of the Human Race." True to Dark Funeral standards, this one is for sure a fan's pleasure as it rips and roars over screeching guitars, blasting drums, and venom filled vocals. The same can be said for the second track. However, on the third track- "Stigmata"- Funeral slows down their pace a little bit to allow a little more melody and guitar solos come in. This is a welcome change, as compared to usual Dark Funeral songs that just hammer the listener relentlessly without really any chance to let he or she appreciate the music. It is still as hateful and blasphemous as the faster tracks (no keyboards or quiet acoustic guitar moments), and most listeners might not even notice the change of pace, but once you're aware of it it'll leave a scar forever.

Following "Stigmata," the album's single – if there is such a thing in black metal – "My Funeral"- showcases the perfect balance between fast and catchy. A lot of fans have criticized the track for being bland and generic, on top of the suicidal music video being a very dumb addition. However, Funeral tries to incorporate something more than just blast beats and hate; even the vocalist opts for some deep growling instead of his usual spit fire howl. Both styles complement each other well.

The title track speeds things up again, so not all is lost among the old school fans. The reunion will be short lived, as the pace of the music changes again with "Declaration of Hate," which is still a fast track, but there are a few new elements involved, such as a sort of choir like chanting near the end that sounds like the finishing to a demonic ritual; extremely atmospheric and a welcome addition. The last two tracks round out the album by keeping to the regular Dark Funeral tradition of being fast and heavy; the last track, "My Latex Queen," somewhat ruins things because, while adhering to Dark Funeral tradition, it also tends to throw everything at once, and the vocals are layered on top of everything else, therefore burying the guitars and drums a little. There is a very cool solo near the end of the song, however.

Ultimately, old Dark Funeral fans will still appreciate this album, maybe even love it for the subtle variety mixed in the music. New comers will definitely appreciate the album if they enjoy the likes of Marduk. Gorgoroth, or older 1349. Angelus… has proven that Dark Funeral can make black metal this is still loud and heavy, but also have proven they won't make the same album over again. This pitfall was already seen between the older album Vobiscum Satanas and . No longer.

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