After a six year hiatus, the enigmatic growlster Daniel Rosten (also known as Arioch) returns with a second full length album by his Swedish black metal project, Funeral Mist.
On this release he does all the instrumentation himself, answering a big question regarding whether the glory of Funeral Mist’s previous work were attributed solely to Arioch himself, or that he really needed others to help him fuel the beauty. As it turns out, Maranatha proves that maybe one man cannot do everything aline. While Arioch’s demonically unique vocals are the highlight of the album (on the end of the track “Anathema Maranatha” he sounds just downright scary and fantastic), the rest is seems a bit muddled.
Starting from the opening track, the listener is assaulted with samples from movies revolving around God and demons before being pummeled with furious drums, vocals, and guitars all at once. The problem with this is that they DO come at you all at once, and it keeps coming at you all at once for a large percentage of the album; it becomes hard to really pick out any one instrument clearly. The guitars are whiny, buzzing, and sometimes Arioch’s vocals can match the whining as he grunts and groans, trying to incorporate many different vocal styles into work to sound deranged as possible, somewhat ruining the effects.
The drums are barely audible as they pummel out beats at blinding speed; at times it is so fast you’d think it was one of the guitars instead. There is hardly any bass; when there is it is completely buried in the sound.
The lyrics are wonderfully philosophical and intriguing, but one would have to read the lyrics sheet or look them up online because Arioch’s vocals are so muddled amongst the music. Every once in a while things will quiet down and one can understand what he’s saying for a few moments. But, then the sonic assault will start up again and it becomes lost on the listener. About eighty percent of the album is like this.