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A Transylvanian Funeral - "A Transylvanian Funeral" (CD)

A Transylvanian Funeral - "A Transylvanian Funeral" CD cover image

"A Transylvanian Funeral" track listing:

1. We Shun the Light
2. Pwcca
3. Asmoday Unbound
4. Hammer of the Witch
5. Beyond the Veils of Light
6. Lunacy
7. Black Sacrifice
8. Blood of Seraphs
9. Circle of Disease
10. Chthonic Possession
11. Ways of the Magi
12. Flesh and Dust
13. Eulogy for a God

Reviewed by on July 3, 2010

"Sleepwalker’s traditional black metal is peppered with psychedelic groove and thrash in an amazing way."

A Transylvanian Funeral’s self-titled debut album is a very promising black metal odyssey, especially for being a one-man band. Sleepwalker’s traditional black metal is peppered with psychedelic groove and thrash in an amazing way. The different types of music rise and fade creating an ebb and flow within every song. “PWCCA” has a hardcore thrash opening with furious and fuzzy-distortion guitars, but fades into traditional black metal half way through, completely transforming the mood and feel of the song. “Flesh and Dust” is a good example of A Transylvanian Funeral’s versatility: slow and psychedelic.

The instrument that shines through the album is the bass. In every song, Sleepwalker’s bass is not merely something to fill in the bottom notes, but a highly creative instrument with the same importance as the guitars. “Asmoday Unbound,” “Beyond the Veils of Light,” and “Flesh and Dust” are a few notable songs. Sleepwalker is joined by vocalist Sojourner for backup vocals on most songs. Their sickening growls are not very loud, and are actually hard to hear in some songs like “PWCCA,” but it seems to add a creepy feel to the intense music. In “Black Sacrifice,” one vocalist growls as the other speaks the same lyrics.

The guitars in this album are great and varied throughout. They play quick-strum black metal melodies in many songs including “Blood of Seraphs” and “Circle of Disease,” but use different distortions for other songs. One guitar holds a note of feedback in “Black Sacrifice” and never plays a tune. In “Asmoday Unbound,” the psychedelic riffs have a very crunchy distortion. The guitars play an extremely heavy (almost sludgy) breakdown in “Hammer of the Witch.”

A Transylvanian Funeral’s debut album is not pure traditional black metal, but proves that it doesn’t need to be. The addition of psychedelic parts and thrashy guitars make it richer in intensity. The album signs off with an eerie sound clip that says, “Believe me, if I started murdering people, there’d be none of you left.”

Highs: Awesome, intense black metal.

Lows: The vocals could have been mixed louder at times.

Bottom line: Incredible black metal for a debut album and makes for a promising future.

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)