Exmortem - Funeral Phantoms
Mighty Music
Death Metal
10 songs (37:28)
Release year: 2008
Mighty Music
Reviewed by Goat

Danish horde Exmortem seem to have been banging away in the underground for years now without much success, yet if album number six, Funeral Phantoms, is anything to go by the band really doesn’t care much. They’re probably more famous for having a member of Illdisposed on guitar than anything else, but worry not, ye kvltists, for Exmortem are the real deal. After the speedy route taken on 2005’s Nihilistic Contentment, things have been slowed to a crushing pound somewhere between Hate Eternal and Morbid Angel, but with a focus on atmosphere. This doesn’t mean to say, of course, that Funeral Phantoms is slow or lacking in killer riffage, because it’s a very headbangable album.

All in all, though, where Hate Eternal’s last album was focused solely on pushing you to the ground and repeatedly bludgeoning you like an overenthusiastic cop, Exmortem are more Black Metal in design, quite similar to recent Marduk in the neo-martial epicness of their sound. Opening blast Black Opium has all the filthiness that the title suggests, big Sludgy riffs and technical drumwork covered by a roaring vocalist... Exmortem refine the formula, though, yet don’t seem to be happy to do much with it, so only some tracks on offer here are different in subtle ways, the catchiness of Fixed In Slime, the rage of the title track, the miserable grandeur of Anger Trumpet Blow.

One thing you’re guaranteed throughout is an intense, blasting Death Metal experience. There are no ‘core moments here whatsoever, nor any progressive influences striking at Exmortem’s black heart. Although, yes, there is a killer breakdown in Black Opium, and yes, there are frequent moments that touch upon both Doom and Black Metal, Funeral Phantoms is first and foremost Death Metal, a Death Metal that is technically proficient but doesn’t go out of its way to impress. The disappointing thing about this album is that after the initial listens it tends to turn a little samey, but if you’re looking for a solid album full of brutality you could do a hell of a lot worse. Funeral Phantoms does possess an uncanny something that makes you want to listen to it again and again... it’s certainly a big step forward for the band, enough to make me await their next album with a darn sight more interest than I had before.

Killing Songs :
Black Opium, Fixed In Slime, Anger Trumpet Blow
Goat quoted 72 / 100
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