Funeral Fullmoon – Poetry of the Death Poison Review

It’s a mere four months since I reviewed Revelation of Evil, the full-length debut from Chilean one-man black metal project Funeral Fullmoon and, frankly, I didn’t expect see him back so soon. Now, part of the reason it’s only been four months is because the January release of Revelation of Evil was in fact a re-issue through Inferna Profundus Records of a cassette-only release from last September, something I discovered about quite late into the writing process. Even allowing for my own failures here, that’s still only an eight-month turnaround from the man currently going by the name Magister Nihilifer Vendetta 218. His first full-length was a good album, if one that borrowed heavily from the second-wave black metal sound and, while well written, was not hugely original. Can Funeral Fullmoon bring anything new to the table with second outing, Poetry of the Death Poison, after only a few months away?

As Poetry of the Death Poison opens, it feels a little like a film score. Not a film that’s going to get released in any cinema that has customers, nor on a readily accessible format, but you can cut the horrific atmosphere summoned – this does seem the most appropriate word – by Funeral Fullmoon on the title track with a rusty butter knife. Without changing styles at all, Poetry of the Death Poison’s atmospherics feel more skillfully crafted than on Revelation of Evil, with both the new record’s title track and “Beyond the Pain” dripping menace. Magister’s rasped vocals retain their hellish, glass-and-gravel-gargling dynamic plus an echo effect, which only adds to the impression that they are slightly divorced from the music the vocals are fronting.

As for that music, it’s harsher and lower-fi than Revelation of Evil. The drums – if indeed they are drums and not carboard boxes – are battered feverishly, while droning, atonal tremolos run amok. For the most part, Funeral Fullmoon’s maelstrom maintains a consistent and vicious tempo but the moments when it either slows to a menacing crawl (the midway point of “Beyond the Pain”) or slams up through the gears to a frantic horror chase pace (the back end of the title track) break the pacing well. That said, it cannot rank among music’s greatest challenges to pace an album comprising only four tracks and coming in at 29 minutes in length. Especially when the final track, “In the Night of Dark Ruins,” is nine and a half minutes of ominous keys set to rain and occasional thunder and lighting, continuing that run-down cinematic vibe that opened the album.

And therein lies the rub, dear reader. Much as I enjoyed my time with Revelation of Evil, that was already a short record and the truth is that Funeral Fullmoon does not have enough material to justify another album yet. The fact that “In the Night of Dark Ruins” accounts for nearly a third of this record and is a mix of a weather recordings and a Dracula b-movie score says much. The other three songs on here are decent second wave fare, with “Poetry of the Death Poison” itself a very decent specimen of that early 90s style, but Funeral Fullmoon has failed to find anything unique in the sound and doubled down on that production style to boot. This thing makes Darkthrone’s Transylvanian Hunger sound positively dynamic (the DR12 notwithstanding), with the cardboard box drums sounding damper and moldier than ever.

Poetry of the Death Poison is not a bad album – or EP, which one could arguably classify it as – it’s simply an unnecessary one. The first two thirds of the record are effective enough for what they are – stripped back, harsh black metal, heavily inspired by the likes of early Darkthrone and Burzum – but Funeral Fullmoon offers nothing new with the style and to then tack on a nine-minute addendum to Unreqvited’s Rain EP feels like putting out an album just for the sake of it. While I didn’t love Revelation of Evil, it was solid and well written, and I hoped Funeral Fullmoon would take the time to craft something a bit special. Sadly, this did not happen and Poetry of the Death Poison is a crude disappointment.

Rating: 2.0/5.0
DR: 12 | Format Reviewed: 258 kbps mp3
Label: Inferna Profundus Records
Releases Worldwide: May 17th, 2021

« »