Extreme metal bands from the US who fall into the USBM category are, without a doubt, diverse. Many have chosen to forge new paths in an attempt to give the USBM an identity rather than hanging on the coat tails of the more established European scene. Not in the case of Black Funeral.
To begin with, this band have been around since the mid-90s and are thus one of the longest standing set-ups in the scene. Adhering very loyally to the intrinsic sound and representations of the dark heart of black metal, this record, unbelievably their tenth, seemingly reverses time and may well be their most absorbing to date.
I am always very drawn to black metal with some gallop and a few blood spots of groove. There are no illusions that this will be the case as opener ‘Kassaptu Lemuttu’ bludgeons its way into existence and lays the gnarled foundations for bleaker offerings such as ‘Seven Udug-Hul’ and the title track ‘Scourge of Lamshtu’. There is even time for a song called ‘Nergal’ maybe in the vain hope that he takes a look back in time and realises just how far he’s gone since his little band sounded a bit like this.
This record sounds, in part, like it is a room recording yet allows sufficient production to ensure that it is neat and organised. The ability to maintain the rawness of chaos under such circumstances is always a tough one but Black Funeral have well and truly pulled it off here. If you want a one liner, to me, it sounds like standing in the practice room with The Infernal Sea.. And that is a huge compliment to both bands.