Funeral Mist - Deiform
Norma Evangelium Diaboli
Black Metal
7 songs (53:58)
Release year: 2021
Funeral Mist, Norma Evangelium Diaboli
Reviewed by Goat

A surprise release a few days before Christmas, Funeral Mist's fourth full-length in nearly thirty years of existence is another excellent dose of darkness. With 2018's Hekatomb proving that a nine-year absence wouldn't adversely affect the project's quality, mainman Arioch has travelled the opposite direction with the shortest distance between album releases yet. And he proves that he has the songwriting skills to make worthy music with such lack of gaps, too, making you wonder what goes wrong in his other band, Marduk! Speaking of the Swedish warmongers, Deiform will remind newcomers of their style, barrages of bleakness spiced up in various ways but remaining as grim and grimy. And those familiar with Funeral Mist will note that much of this is relatively straight-forward and orthodox in tone, with fewer of the outright experiments of yore such as, say, the clunky hammered riffs on Maranatha's White Stone, either.

You will have your own view on whether that is a good thing or not, but there's no denying that the intense black heart of the band is still pumping strongly. Ten-minute opener Twilight of the Flesh has ominous crackling thunder and monastic chants atop a droning riff, beating drums (again provided by former Marduk skinsman Lars) and Arioch's typically vitriolic vocals all add up to an exciting and atmospheric experience. Particularly so around the halfway point when the torrential violence begins, captivating riffs atop gleeful battery, with plenty of change-ups to keep ears refreshed. That's where the real strength of the band is, and so even with the odd taste of progressiveness here and there, such as the strange widdly riffing of Apokalyptikon, it doesn't detract from the onyx core - as the same track's ranting vocal performance shows.

So as the album continues and you absorb moments like In Here's opening almost avant-garde metallic percussion, they are drowned beneath a black metal ocean that rushes in soon after. There are, of course, experimental moments that you remember for themselves, particularly In Here's closing chants, which sets the stage perfectly for the children's choir that provide a strangely rhythmic backing to Children of the Urn's initially slower but never less intense bleakness, speeding into one of the best tracks on the album. The choir, as with uses of more adult choirs elsewhere, even serves as a catchy counterpoint (if not quite a chorus!) to Arioch's snarls and moans, showing off the man's songwriting capability. Just as enjoyable is the blunt brutality of Hooks of Hunger, suggesting an equal intelligence to the blastier parts of Deiform. Again, why can't Marduk solve this puzzle? Rare are the Marduk pieces as of late that are as good as the slower, tortured title track here or the closing gallop of Into Ashes, and there's not a weak track on the whole of the album. A late highlight to the year; even if this is the least impressive of Funeral Mist's albums thus far, it's still excellent.

Killing Songs :
Twilight of the Flesh, In Here, Children of the Urn, Deiform
Goat quoted 83 / 100
Other albums by Funeral Mist that we have reviewed:
Funeral Mist - Hekatomb reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
Funeral Mist - Maranatha reviewed by Charles and quoted 90 / 100
Funeral Mist - Salvation reviewed by Daniel and quoted 98 / 100
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