Review Summary: Remembered for who they were, not what they did.
Formed in Bergen, Norway in 1988, Old Funeral are remembered not for the music that they created in their 5 year career, but as a starting point for some of the most well known names in Black Metal. Throughout the band's existence, a rotating cast of characters including Abboth and Demonaz of Immortal fame and convicted murderer and Burzum mastermind Varg Vikernes made up Old Funeral, although not at the same time. Abbath and Demonaz left Old Funeral in 1990 right before the addition of Varg Vikernes and the recording of the band's only official release, 1991's Devoured Carcass
Despite their strong ties to the then burgeoning Norwegian Black Metal scene, the three songs contained on Devoured Carcass
are pure unadulterated Death Metal. Veiled by a murky, less than adequate production, Varg Vikernes and Tore Bratseth's low, churning riffing takes its influence from the early releases of Morbid Angel and Carcass as it alternates from up-tempo tremolo picking to menacing power chord chug. The lead work is minimal, although on the EP's title track both Varg and Tore do their best Jeff Hanneman impersonations as they trade off solos. The muddied production makes drummer/vocalist Padden's deep, guttural growls seem even more ominous as he belches out such quality lyrics like “Impossible to stand the heat/ Ants begin to eat the meat/ Trunk-liquor dries in sores/ Unsupported on mothers floor”
Old Funeral's 1991 release, Devoured Carcass
provides an interesting glimpse into the musical evolution of Varg Vikernes. At twelve minutes long, there really isn't much to take in, but if you can make it through the album's sub-par production quality, Devoured Carcass
offers a solid, albeit derivative listening experience.