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Black Funeral – Wallachian Voivode [EP]

black funeral – wallachian voivode [ep]


Over the course of its expansive career, spanning over three decades, Black Funeral have proven itself as one of the most elusive Black Metal bands ever to come from the North American continent. From their vampiric-themed classic work to the more occult-driven and almost industrial sounding work from the mid 00’s, Michael ‘Nachttoter’ Ford always led his brainchild past challenging musical depths.

In those years after the turn of the millennium Black Funeral was more prolific than ever before and while that pace has since been lowered a tad, we still are being treated to some new material with great regularity. This newest EP, ‘Wallachian Voivode’, is the first proper release since the band’s tenth full-length album from 2020, not counting the demo that was also released on CD by Dark Adversary Productions in 2021.

The title and cover artwork of this newest offering is already giving away what we can expect musically, this is again a piece of art that is inspired by the ever-intriguing stories of Vlad the Impaler. Musically this is not much of a departure of what was heard on the band’s latest few recordings, it rather feels like a continuation of it. Yet, there is something else that caught my ear and attention a bit more than ever before. Drowning The Light always had a strong Black Funeral connection in its music, yet as time progressed the Australian band forged these inspirations into something of its very own. Black Funeral on its turn, anno 2024, has quite an evident bit of that Drowning The Light nature to its music. Listening back to some of the most recent releases I didn’t find that connection so conspicuous as it is now, but, on the other hand it is not all that surprising. Not only do both bands share a musician, both Drowning The Light’s Azgorh and Nachttoter are strongly connected spirits and belong to the same inner circle of musicians/bands and last but not least, Black Funeral also appears on Azgorh’s own Dark Adverary Productions label.

‘Wallachian Voivode’ has a strongly keyboard driven sound with a rather sharp guitar tone to it, together blending in some pretty smooth sounding Black Metal. Indeed not too far removed to some of the most recent Drowning The Light releases. Listening to these well-crafted tracks in this almost organic sounding analogue production, the song writing skills of Nachttoter really do shine. The many layers of keyboards, samples and trimmed-down guitars do add to the mesmerizing and medieval atmosphere of the music. Yes, ‘Wallachian Voivode’ is truly a magnificent piece of vampiric art and certainly belongs to the strongest Black Funeral material so far.