|Review: Black Funeral - Belial Arisen|
Label: Behemoth Productions
Year released: 2001
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: February 15, 2006
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Rated 2.44/5 (48.89%) (9 Votes)
This is the fourth album by the US one-man act Black Funeral. Like seemingly every single album by this band, it is sometimes heralded as an 'underground masterpiece' or an 'overlooked recording of the essence of Black Metal', as with most such claims by other bands, this is bullshit.
This is less arcane and more straightforward than the other BF album I own "Empire Of Blood", so it's not quite as cool to my ears. "Belial Arisen" is very workmanlike Darkthrone/Mayhem worship with the expected repetitive riffs and the "in the basement" recording job. The vocals are more emotive than usual, but are just a cut above the standard rasp you'd expect. The songs don't really have a structure, they just blare away with the same two or three riffs until the thing is long enough to be a song, and then they either fade out or just stop dead. Pretty weak, if you ask me. The poor recording is actually my favorite part of this album, as it distorts the proceedings just enough to make the songs sound more chaotic and less generic. "Antichrist Rising" generates some energy, and "The Crimson Dragon" gets moving a little bit, but largely, bands like this are why we have the term "Darkclone". I like Black Funeral in spite of all these things, and I enjoy this album, but there is just nothing original or distinctive about it.
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