Black Funeral – Scourge Of Lamashtu

Band: Black Funeral
Title: Scourge of Lamashtu
Label: Iron Bonehead Productions
Release date: 03 July 2020
Country: USA
Format reviewed: High-quality Digital Recording

So recently I got the chance to review a single man project from Texas and since that one was so delightful, I decided this week I wanted to see what else Texas, where everything is bigger, had to offer.

Black Funeral has been around since 1993, and at the beginning of July, on the third, we witnessed the release of their 10th, and yes you read that right, their 10th full-length album titled “Scourge of Lamashtu”. I suppose when I see bands that have been active for as long as that I get pre-excited, as I always believe that there must be a reason for the long life, right?

“Kassaptu Lemuttu” comes on first with its cold winds, waves of troubled water, and whispering sounds of the unknown. As a beat starts to build up in the distance it surely feels unpleasant, but soon enough the black metal tones crawl up but it’s… low fi old school. The most present things in the soundscape are the guitars, while the drums are almost inaudible in the back and yet it doesn’t sound like a homemade tape. The feel I was left with after the opener was that this band is one of those holding invisible orbs in a wintery forest type of bands. But they do know how to create disturbing intros.

“Nergal” opens in up exactly that way. Winds and shrieking monsters from the unknown abyss below is my best description, with synths on top of the instruments. Some major things that could have played a bigger part are almost inaudible, such as the already mentioned drums, so you must use your imagination to listen to the notes you can´t hear but what you can hear, such as some decent melodies, are quite enjoyable.

The title track, “Scourge of Lamashtu“, includes some old dulcimer sounding string instrument, chanting voices and demonic screams follow. Once again the key is the melodic guitar which here sort of fit better with the vocals than they did before, with the same problem as before as well of inaudible instruments and sounds that I would deem necessary. Then again, this sound is the “true” sound and each to his own. I can’t help but feel that with better production this could have been so much better.

“Pazuzu King of the Lilu-Demons” closes this little album as not so much of a great opus, as is the case with almost every album it feels. The guitars are not as refined anymore but are however still accompanied by the disturbing organ thing. Pazuzu just reminds me of the big gargoyle that Professor Farnsworth had in Futurama.

This album has its qualities, especially with the songwriting. The guitars often play relevant things and nicely built melodies and throughout the vocals are pretty good. But as a whole, I don’t really know what to say. I have a sneaky suspicion that if the production had been better I would know what to say. 6/10 Julia Katrin

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6/10 We may survive!
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