Funeral Mist
Maranatha

For reasons beyond my comprehension, the second full length album from Funeral Mist (now comprised solely of Arioch) has received a large amount of criticism and negative response. Whether it’s the fact the album was unleashed without warning 6 years after the highly regarded Salvation, that Necromorbus is no longer on drums, or that Arioch has taken his twisted vocal delivery to even more demented levels or even that the album has a cleaner production and more moments of experimentation and atmospherics, I’m not sure. Either way, screw the haters, as I happen to find Maranatha a blistering example of venomous psychosis and one of 2009s very best black metal releases.

Admittedly, Maranatha isn’t on the same Marduk levels of continual speed, but that is what makes Maranatha far more interesting and disturbing. While seething, traditional slices of tremolo picked savagery like opener “Sword of Faith” and vitriolic epic “Anathema Maranatha” will still appease the fans of Salvation, it’s the albums more varied, lengthier and atmospheric tracks that gloss Maranatha with a sense of sickly menace and while these are arguably the sticking points for the spike clad naysayers, for me, they make the album and take it to new levels.

It’s not like the album is drenched in cheesy synths or long wandering ambient tracks, but rather well placed moments of experimentation or atypical black metal structures. For example the slow lurch and choirs of “White Stone”, majestic, droning closer “Anti Flesh Nimbus” and the 11 minute repetitive mid paced march and horns of “Blessed Curse”, the likely reasons of all the fan boy hate, give the album some dread and character amid the searing black metal moments (of which there are plenty- trust me). Then closing moments of the otherwise scorching “Jesus Saves!”, the church choirs of “A New Light”, the haunting female chants in the mid section of “Living Temples” when migled with the razor sharp black metal, simply drip with and paranoia and nervous ambience rather than piecemeal injections.

Of course, Arioch’s performance has also been the subject of criticism I’ve seen. Again, I don’t see why. His deviation from standard rasps that veers into groans, screams, wheezes, shouts, squeals, spoken words and just flat out vocal demented histrionics all add to the overall presence and occult, mystical, esoteric yet poisonous feel of the album, and album that shows Arioch rising above the usual black metal paradigms and delivering his own unique take on black metal regardless of expectations of past glories.

My gut feeling tells me that after this initial negative buzz dies down, and people take Maranatha on its own merits and let it sink in,  in a few years we might be looking back on Maranatha with the same reverence and dare I say ‘classic’ status as Salvation.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
May 13th, 2009

Comments

  1. Commented by: Shane

    The cover art is disgusting.


  2. Commented by: slimylimey

    Great review Erik. I totally agree with you in that I just don’t get why this album has received so much criticism. This stuff is pure evil and its the best album so far this year as far as I’m concerned.


  3. Commented by: slaveborn

    awesome record. I don’t want to wait 6 years for another


  4. Commented by: Grist

    I’m pretty sure Maranatha is a brand of organic peanut butter.


  5. Commented by: Blog › Teeth of the Divine Staff Picks of 2009 › Teeth of the Divine

    […] 14. Funeral Mist – Maranatha […]


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