Grim Funeral: Abdication Under Funeral Dirge

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Grim Funeral: Abdication Under Funeral Dirge
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Grim Funeral: Abdication Under Funeral Dirge
Black Metal
Avantgarde Music
November 4th, 2013
Release length: 1:19:54
Myspace
Youtube
Grim Funeral is yet another one man Black Metal operation. Helmed by Ur Profanum, former member of the bands Argar and Spectre, the project came to be in 2003, but didn’t release anything until a split in 2004 with Spectre. Another split with Gheestenland followed in 2007, as did the debut full-length A Grim Funeral to the Soul of This World a year later. It’s been five years since and the band is with Avantgarde Music to issue the follow-up full-length Abdication Under a Funeral Dirge, which is composed of nearly eighty minutes of pure Black Metal. But is it a solid effort, or are the extensive track lengths overkill?

Abdication Under Funeral Dirge is a lengthy, intertwined opus that often mixes atmospheres or traits. “I.I Resignation” starts off with a slower paced composition that is simply depressing, trudging along with a heavy echo on the vocals, making the higher pitched howling seem more primal than human. The deeper audio and louder bass also make it sound a little more sinister, something that the faster verses show off better. This hits about six minutes in, and focuses more on the consistent drumming. The last half jumps in and out of the two, but overall ends up incredibly haunting before shifting into “I.II Grim Funeral Elegy into Twilight of Humanity.” The howling is replaced with nasal screaming, as if someone in pain in the distance. In the background, a storm rages on, picking up additional intensity to the technical guitar notes that play in the background. After three minutes the song kicks in without losing that dark, rainy atmosphere. The performance is handled in bursts, a short amount of aggressive Black Metal, then a haunting bridge with or without more howling. It stays this way until about twelve minutes in when the pace slows down, and the creepy factor kicks back in.

“II.I Human Funeral Throne” actually sounds a little richer, and a bit more aggressive. The twenty-five minute long track has some well paced drumming behind plenty of lead riffs that sound diseased and painful. The majority of the song clearly lingers in the Depressive Black Metal territory, pushing the wolf-like howling more than anything in the vocals. It’s a steady track, but around nineteen minutes in caves to melody and slower hooks that extend its life. Sadly this is one of the few that could have easily finished before coming near the ten minute point. “II.II Crypt Reign,” however, has a good deal in common with “Grim Funeral Elegy into Twilight of Humanity,” but not the quality. While the big difference is the gaps between bursts are fewer, it seems like the same song but grows to sacrifice vocals for the sake of making it sound like howling. Around the four-and-a-half minutes mark, it heads into a mid-tempo pace with some catchy, simpler drum patterns and guitar chords that make it hard to not get wrapped up in for what time it exists. The song bleeds into “III.I Abdication Under Funeral Dirge,” which is an ambient piece with wailing vocals against a haunting, but rather unimpressive guitar presence.

Abdication Under Funeral Dirge starts off quite impressive, but begins to wind down pretty quick. The first chapter of the album flows smoothly from start to finish with enough variety, jumping between frostbitten melancholic atmospheres and today’s emotional Depressive Black Metal. Sadly, once you reach that second chapter, the songs start to sound similar, and even go so far as to abuse the primal howling from the echo effect. Grim Funeral does make each track feel like an opus though, making a solid experience you can just throw on and kick back to if you have an extended amount of time for yourself. While the last two songs aren’t the most engaging, Abdication Under Funeral Dirge pays homage to the genre, and becomes an album that’s just handy to have around and ready to throw on when the mood for a grand musical journey hits you.

01. I.I Resination 19:44
02. I.II Grim Funeral Elegy into Twilight of Humanity – 15:46
03. II.I Human Funeral Throne – 25:02
04. II.II Crypt Reign – 15:01
05. III.I Abdication Under Funeral Dirge – 4:21
Initial Pressing Score: 7.5/10

Grim Funeral
Grim Funeral

Digital review copy of this release provided by Avantgarde Records.