Funeral Fullmoon – Revelation of Evil Review

Sometimes, on a cold and miserable winter evening, when you haven’t been outside for several days because Lockdown 3.0 and work sucks because you haven’t been to the office or seen any of your colleagues for 11 months and you really want a beer or five but can’t because you decided not to drink for January for some damn fool reason and… well, anyway, you get the picture. On those sorts of evenings, sometimes what you need is an ice-cold sliver of raw, lo-fi black metal. And in that situation, where do you naturally turn? Chile. Of course, Chile which… wait, what?

Funeral Fullmoon is a one-man black metal project coming out of Chile’s Valparaíso Region. The one man in question, who is far too kvlt to have a Facebook page or website, is currently going under the moniker of Magister Nihilifer Vendetta 218. In other acts, like Sacred Veil, for which he played bass and keyboards, he went under the guise of Magus Xem Deitus. Revelation of Evil is the first full-length from Funeral Fullmoon, following an EP and a split with labelmates Wampyric Rites, which both came out in 2020. Technically, so did Revelation of Evil1 but since it was a cassette-only release, I’m pretty confident the only person who heard it will have been Diabolus in Muzaka.2 I suspect he would also have liked it. Funeral Fullmoon majors in mid-paced, second wave-style black metal. Despite the raw, lo-fi sound on show at a surface level, this thing is a DR 9 and, with a decent set of cans clamped on, surprisingly rich for all its frost-bitten evilness.

Thematically, we’re very much in the vampires, dark woods, and evil spirits camp but, underneath the run-of-the-mill genre tropes, there’s a surprisingly decent piece of raw black metal here. Very much in the mould of Transylvanian Hunger-era Darkthrone or Isengard, Revelation of Evil is all ominous and icy tremolos, shifting between slower, doom-tinged threat (“Under the Shining Moon”) and all-out, furious assault (“The Whispers of a Dark Dead”). Behind the mic, Magister sounds like someone who has just swallowed a tin of razor blades, washed down with a chaser of crushed glass, as he rasps, gargles and shrieks his way through the album. The title track is the clear star attraction here, as the frantic tremolo introduce a genuinely melodic edge to Revelation of Evil, which gradually gives way to a stripped back, distorted dissonance that crawls forward, with a filthy sheen to it.

For what it is, which is an unrepentantly nostalgic piece of second-wave black metal drawing heavily on that scene’s Norwegian founders, Revelation of Evil is really good. It has a nasty, cold edge to the guitar and the bass gives a rich layer beneath the frosty surface, while Magister’s harsh vocals embody the evil spirits he is trying to capture. To me, however, Funeral Fullmoon suffers from at least two drawbacks. Both are, I think, inherent to the style but I recognize one is more a personal dislike. First, by sticking fairly scrupulously to the second wave mold as Funeral Fullmoon does, there is a limit to how creative or memorable it can sound, even when well written, as Revelation of Evil is. Secondly, that very thin, lo-fi drum sound that for some reason characterizes the style — where I picture drummers furiously hammering at skins made of slightly damp leather — just does nothing for me (but I am aware and recognize that this is a personal taste thing).

Revelation of Evil is a straightforward but well-written piece of raw black metal. Full of atmosphere and evil, but also tinged with melody and mixing up the pacing, Funeral Fullmoon’s tremolos are fun, if not hugely original. If you’re a fan of early Darkthrone and pals, then this should be up your alley. If you’re not, this album is not going to change your mind.

Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 9 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Inferna Profundus Records
Release Date: January 18th, 2021

Show 2 footnotes

  1. On September 14th, to be precise.
  2. Curiously, this release also seems to be missing one track that appeared on the cassette version: “Malefic Incarnation.”
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