OLD FUNERAL - Join the Funeral Procession (HAMMERHEART - LP 1999)
Norwegians do know how to play black metal, oh yes. But do they know what to do to make a killer death metal? Sure they do! We all remember such “Soulside Journey” or “Hallucinating Anxiety”, right? And we have to mention also Old Funeral, whose old recordings belong to my favourite stuff that was ever recorded in fuckin Norge. I hope I don’t need to remind you what people were involved in this band, because if you don’t know it then I have no idea what you’re doing here. Listening to Amon Amarth? Cool for you. For me personally Old Funeral belongs to the BEST death metal bands from those old days of Scandinavian scene. And yes, if you wanna call something cult and legendary, this is one of those bands.
In their short history, Old Funeral recorded just a couple of demos and a 7”EP. The first demo – I don’t care about it. The title was absurd (“The Fart That Should Not Be” haha) and the music was shit also. But then “Abduction of Limbs” and “Devoured Carcass” happened and these two are just beautiful death metal filth! Obviously the original versions of these recordings are damn rare and impossible to find, but we’re lucky that Old Funeral putted out several compilations, which include both of them. I don’t care much about “Our Condolences (1988-1992)” to be honest, but the other two, released by Hammerheart Records, “The Older Ones” and “Join the Funeral Procession”, are excellent. I wish I had “The Older Ones” on vinyl, as this compilation has some extra songs, which feature Jorn from Hades in the line up, but sadly I never had a chance to grab a copy of it. But I have “Join the Funeral Procession”, which is quite rare vinyl also. There were just 500 copies made, all on the picture discs, which is cool, I guess, as they come with an insert sheet with some info and stuff. And it’s a 12” vinyl, not a 10” as it says on this sheet haha! This vinyl contains both “Abduction of Limbs” and “Devoured Carcass” and of course it’s a real feast for the maniacs of old death metal shit.
And if I was going to compare Old Funeral to any other bands, then sorry, but it would just have to be early Darkthrone. And Thou Shalt Suffer. I know these are so damn obvious and cliché comparisons, but I can’t think of any better! Obviously we also put here some names from the Swedish and Finnish underground (Abhorrence!), as they were all like brother death metal scenes and some bands had a lot in common. Anyway, the music is just superb. “Abduction of Limbs” demo is impressive as hell and all three songs are pure death metal feast. I like the production of this demo a lot and just everything about it is great. There are quite many very fast, grinding parts, some riffs are also quite technical, while other will be more straight forward. And Abbath’s vocals on this demo are just sick, much different to what you can expect from his Immortal performances. I guess I like this demo even more than “Devoured Carcass” EP, even though it’s also a fantastic stuff. This EP was recorded in 1991 and has Christian (hahaha) on guitars and the vocals are performed by Padde, also known as Kolgrim (yes, early Immortal drummer, he who said the famous “holocaust metal” words ha!). A legendary line up, no doubts. The music on this EP became slower, but also heavier, more crushing with that harsh, severe sound and deeper growls of Padde. Again three songs, again very obscure horror aura and just rough sounding, intense death metal. It’s enough for me to feel a pure delight and excitement with Old Funeral.
These are great, legendary recordings and maybe it’s even good that Old Funeral split up soon after and all the members – or most of them – have focused on their black metal bands. It makes Old Funeral even more worthy and cult, you know? Anyway, the way this picture LP was released is not perfect, but “Join the Funeral Procession” do its job perfectly: presents six tracks of killer death metal.
Final rate: 90/100