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The Unearthly Funeral Chant

Indonesia Country of Origin: Indonesia

The Unearthly Funeral Chant
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Buy on: Bandcamp
Type: Full-Length
Release Date: May 31st, 2024
Label: Independent
Genre: Black
1. Ancient Descent
2. Eternal Embrace Of Enchantment Rage
3. Eclipse Of The Ancient Throne
4. Honoured Of Death
5. The Unearthly Funeral Chant
6. Pathways To The Dark Forest
7. Enrapted Fragnance

Review by Felix on July 4, 2024.

I cannot say that I am familiar with the scene of Indonesia. I wish I had the time to monitor all national metal communities on my radar, but this is simply not the case. Now I would like to apologise a little with this review. Spot on for The Uneathly Funeral Chant, the fourth full-length of Proceus – and after this introduction, it goes without saying that I do not know any of their first three albums. But maybe this is no big deal after a hiatus of five years and a massive line-up change. Probably the new form of Proceus cannot be very well compared with the previous ones. No musician of the debut is still involved in the band.

Proceus present seven tracks with a playtime of more than 42 minutes. The average length of six minutes is not extraordinary when it comes to black metal, but they provide enough space to integrate a lot of ideas in each and every song. This is slightly problematic in the case of the Indonesian trio. Why? Well, they have not yet reached perfection in putting these ideas all together in the most song-friendly way. For example, the nearly mechanized vocals, mostly typically raw and throaty, follow every now and then a different approach, but the more or less clean singing (for instance at the beginning of 'Eclipse Of The Ancient Throne') is nothing that enriches the work. Or take the break in the opener 'Ancient Descent' at 4:08 minutes. It gives the song a completely strange aroma for some seconds and does not go hand in hand with the other parts of the track. Perhaps no big deal, but definitely not the best way to arrange this song.

Another problem is that I miss the clear contours from time to time. 'Eternal Embrace Of Enchantment Rage' sounds like an Indonesian answer to some old Darkthrone killers, but a shortly appearing sacral choir adds a strange touch and is somehow inadequate here. It is still a good song, with a great riff after six minutes that forms one of the best breaks of the album. And please get me right, I am German and I always need something to moan about. So let’s come from the details to the big picture: Proceus do not lack courage or creativity, their song-writing is (despite the aforementioned minor deficits) pretty exciting and the devilish aura of black metal is nearly omnipresent. Tracks like 'Honoured Of Death' or in particular 'Enrapted Fragnance' deliver an intensive sound experience and I begin to regret that the album seems to be only a digital release so far. That’s a pity for a materialist like me, but nevertheless it is fun to dive into these non-perfect, but stormy and vehement compositions. Scandinavian bands do not have the monopole on coldness – there is also a very fresh breeze in Indonesia.

Equipped with a not overly transparent yet acceptable production, The Unearthly Funeral Chant does not need to fear the international (European) black metal competition. Yes, the album is not able to revolutionize the genre and it fails to pulverize its eternal monuments, but nobody with a healthy mind expected that and at the end, we get seven robust songs with really great moments from time to time. In this context, I recommend to be aware of the fantastic, sharp riff that appears at the ending of the title track. Or take the ominous beginning of 'Enrapted Fragnance' which leads to a hyper-fast section of sustainable devastation. If Indonesia has more interesting albums like The Unearthly Funeral Chant, I have to come back quickly to the metallic side of this country.

Rating: 7.6 out of 10