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Classic Review: Darkthrone - Under a Funeral Moon
Under a Funeral Moon

Label: Peaceville Records
Year released: 1993
Duration: 40:41
Tracks: 8
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 4.25/5

Review online: November 21, 2004
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
Under a Funeral Moon

Rated 4.65/5 (93.01%) (83 Votes)

Now this is it. Darkthrone are worshipped by legions of idiots who think they are the be-all-end-all of Black Metal, when actually 90% of Black Metal has been tired rehash ever since Quorthon screamed "Enter The Eternal Fire!" "A Blaze In The Northern Sky" was good, but this was the pinnacle, the very best Darkthrone album, the one they managed to produce before they sold out with "Transilvanian Hunger". On this album, Fenriz and the boys took the grim necro thing about as far as it is possible to go without actually recording a suicide.

This is just the grimmest. No album by any band has ever gone farther into the cold. "Under A Funeral Moon" is a triumph of raw production, as every instrument is audible, yet each one sounds thin, dry and cold. There is no depth to the recording at all, and the whole is like a kettle of bones rattling in a sub-zero crypt. The guitars crackle and spit out the repetitive, atonal riffs, the drums bash away, and Nocturno Culto's vocals have never sounded as raw and ugly as they do here. In other words, there is nothing to suggest that there is anything to this music that any normal person would actually like. It would seem to be music designed to be as hateful, ugly, and unappealing as possible. "Funeral Moon" is like raw, unvarnished evil dug right out of the frozen earth – it hates you, and it wants you to die. If you don't get Black Metal, then you will hate this album more than any other BM album, but if you like this kind of music, then the album is notable if only for reaching a kind of necro apothesis. No other Black Metal CD has ever been as relentlessly hideous as this one.

This is the best Darkthrone ever did, which doesn't make it the best BM album ever, as there are plenty of bands that do more with the genre than this. But "Under A Funeral Moon" was there first, and still sets the benchmark for unleavened evil. Supposedly, the cover photo shows Fenriz posing with the skull of Euronymous, which he dug up himself for the album cover shot. I don't know if it's true, but it gives you an idea of what the band were all about when they made this. "Under A Funeral Moon" is as raw as it is possible to get.

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