Like always is the case with Funeral Mist, all of a sudden there is a new album. I was pleasantly surprised by 2018’s ‘Hekatomb’-album, which ended up being one of my most favourite albums of that year. And now, with ‘Deiform’, Arioch (or Mortuus, if you will) again caught me off guard. Though all his works, being it either his efforts with Marduk or this solo act Funeral Mist, show an upward trend in quality with many great albums as a result.
After the release of the aforementioned ‘Hekatomb’ I thought it would be really difficult to come up with a suitable follow-up. That album was to me the ultimate mix of extreme orthodox black metal combined with a crystal clear production that gives all the necessary space to expose Arioch’s excellent song writing skills. In this perfect balance, each aspect in Funeral Mist’s trademark sound its rightful place. It was, compared to the previous Funeral Mist albums, a little more accesible too. In short, to me ‘Hekatomb’ was the perfect Funeral Mist album.
But, here it is. A new Funeral Mist album: ‘Deiform’. The first song starts off in good Funeral Mist-fashion, wild and frantic and rather hard to digest. At least, on first glance. The atonal riffs and chaotic structure finds its way to your brain in couple of spins. Though this first track sets the mood and standard for another masterpiece, which is indeed a step back from accessibility. But in return it is another step forward in excellent song writing. The album is full of wild excesses, tempo changes, hidden melodies, hypnotic riffs and unearthly atmospheric arrangements. And, of course, Arioch’s characteristic ferocious vocals. The complexity and brilliance of the songs have no equal in the current black metal scene, though a lot of other bands tread similar paths (Mayhem and Ofermod for instance), none of them are a fair match, really.
Further comparison to its predecessor (or other bands, for that matter) is actually rather pointless. ‘Deiform’ is another unmistakable chef d’oeuvre. And whether it has topped ‘Hekatomb’ or will be topped in the future is futile… If you haven’t heard ‘Deiform’ yet, aptly points it out himself in ‘Hooks On Hunger’: “He that hath eyes to see, let him see. And he that hath ears to hear, let him hear.“