Review Summary: Maranatha is everything you expect from a black metal record; unfortunately its ability to stick strictly to the formula is also its biggest downfall.
Everything is straightforward on Maranatha
. A barrage of blast beats, snarled vocals with your usual sinister and somewhat religious context, even a steady display of riffs and tremolo picking punch through the listeners senses. Unfortunately not even the added samples do much to create a phenomenal listen. Spoken word excerpts do add to the atmosphere of Maranatha
but where they finish listeners have only your typical black metal record. That’s not to say that this is fifty-plus minutes of blast beats and generic riffing, rather it’s an attempt at a record that had potential to grow and be more than what it actually is.
is everything a black metal band would dream of; it’s forceful and is definitely full of energy. The ideas are there but lack the forethought and the execution to highlight the album as a whole. Tracks like ‘Blessed Curse’ (which is the longest track on the record) highlights Funeral Mist’s ability to combine basic ideas with context to create a vibrant image in the listeners’ mind. It is a little cliché that religious (or anti-religious) themes are prominent in the album (and especially that specific track) but each component has its place in painting a picture for the listener. There is a mixed message on this album but unfortunately the forced themes become overbearing by albums end, making it somewhat grating on the listener. And yes… that’s a trumpet.
At times Maranatha
has a minimalistic symphonic element to it – not in the way the funeral doom genre has drawn out riffs and slow tempo patterns, Funeral Mist focus instead on simple patterns at a very consistent mid-tempo speed. These moments however are few and far between. Piano, wind instruments and ambient soundscapes add to the album’s atmosphere and improve the records replay value however these features don’t actually improve the album as a whole. Don’t get me wrong, separate tracks do benefit making an impact on the listener but as the album progresses, the culmination of repeated musical and contextual ideas create a slightly tiring listen. While the music is generic for the most part, there is enough contrast between songs to maintain a steady listen. Funeral Mist share vocalists with another black metal act; the better known Marduk, so for those listeners’ who have found a certain similarity between the two acts it’s not without reason.
has everything the black metal purist would need, as long as they are not expecting to get blown away. The music is as consistent as ever and is chock full of biblical references and sinister themes to match. Where black metal acts are trying to fill an album with cheese, Funeral Mist is letting the cheese go mouldy. The fact that the record is so straightforward may please a lot of listeners’ but as much as this is a positive it’s also the album’s biggest down point. Maranatha
shows a lot of potential and solid ideas but isn’t much else.