Arioch must be a very busy man as it took 9 years for the 3rd album “Hekatomb” to be released. I suppose fronting Marduk is a good excuse for that. Debut album “Salvation” from 2003 is still one of my favourites and “Maranatha” (2009) is a hit and miss, mediocre at best. So hopefully those 9 years between were spend on recording and polishing a real gem in the Black Metal genre. I’m not going to keep you in suspense as in Agatha Christie books featuring peculiar Belgian detective. Although high hopes, unfortunately not.
Similarly, to previous album “Maranatha”, it is a very uneven album. First two tracks “In Nomine Domini” and “Naught but Death” are total let down. First one has its good moments but it’s totally ruined by constant repeat of a single simple riff and bass which just irritates after few seconds. And the second one I just plain boring and uses same pattern just instead of guitar you get hi-hats and snare drum… Not a good start if you think about those 9 years… Fortunately it is not a total disaster as then comes “Shedding Skin” which shows that Funeral Mist still remembers how to play furious and hateful Black Metal. High form is kept with “Cockatrice”, another must hear track on “Hekatomb”. Unfortunately, after those two you get over 7 minutes of slow doom like “Metamorhosis” which isn’t bad but just don’t stand out at all. And guess what. Next two tracks are quite good and after those, you guessed correctly we get another mediocre track which fortunately closes the album.
I have a real problem with “Hekatomb”. Really good tracks are mixed with ones that at best are listenable but more often goes to bracket with name “unsuccessful experiments”. I can see that fans of more modern Black Metal will like those new tracks, for me they lack that special something.
If they would cut down those tracks it would be awesome EP. I’m not crossing the band out and with those few good tracks they show that they can play but “Hekatomb” won’t be my favourite piece of music from Funeral Mist. Nevertheless, I will wait for next one, hopefully less than 9 years. (Sulphur)