HDR - 018 : Funeral Fornication - Pandemic Transgression


Released: July 29th, 2011
Details: Pro-Manafactured-CD, 12 page booklet/standard jewel case w/ sleeve - Limited to 500 Copies
Genre: Eclectic progressive ambient black metal


From : The Werkshed
Published: June 27th, 2011

DSBM has always had a limited niche appeal. While some acts can stand out, often times we are met with a bedroom black metal that isn’t well written, and doesn’t bring anything interesting to the table. While there isn’t as many artists in the genre as others it’s still hard to browse a list of artists and find a decent number of acts worth checking out. Canada’s Funeral Fornication, while not really bringing much else to the table, actually shows competence in the solo artist’s writing abilities, and has acceptable production quality which is more than enough to at least give it a try.

Not including a handful of demos, Pandemic Transgression is FF’s fourth major release, and while staying true to the depressive style established recently, more melodic passages are influenced while the timbre is as strong as ever.

Unfortunately, while there is a slight style shift, the same issue I’ve had in the past with the act still exists; things are rather stagnant. The atmosphere is great and fits the genre to a tee, but I wasn’t surprised by anything on the album, and I could predict where it was going to take me. The lyrical content appears to be generic for the genre, but I do not put much emphasis on it in my reviews. However, the execution of what is on this album is strong enough to mostly save it from the negative aspects.

To conclude, this album definitely does not stand out from the bunch. However if you are a devout black metal freak, it is well worth the pick-up.

Rating: 7/10
Reviewed by; Matt Coughlin


From: ZWaremetalen Webzine
Published: July 11th, 2011

***This is a Google Translated version of a Dutch Review. You can read the original HERE

Funeral Fornication evolved from a thrash-income black metal band to a latent depressive black metal band and played himself in the spotlight for so Hypnotic Dirge Records. The fourth album by the end of July there is Vultyrous loner out.

After an intoxicating ritual dance you hear black metal with doom-like guitar passages from the odd fantastic. The focus is on the guitar, perhaps because the rhythmic drum computer without much bombast has little to offer. The rhythm of the drums seems little decisive as it is played regularly alongside. Timing is of minor importance. Funeral Fornication try it too especially with pagan / ambient / black landscapes that link to Summoning and Elffor , the epic atmosphere exchanged for a depressive overtones. A good choice because that way you avoid overly technical conditions and reach a minimum of key strokes or a decent result. The voice of both desperately Vultyrous (clean) sounds as loud Norwegian deserves a mention.

NoNot the most interesting album of the year, but he does meet the requirements of ambient / pagan / black metal fans (no whistles) with a negative outlook on life and a fairly minimal approach. Fun in between, but not withstand time.

Rating: 69/100
Reviewed by; Bart Alfvoet


From: Thre Nodies
Published: August 24th, 2011

Watching bands progress is probably nearly as nice as watching children grow, especially if the progression is positive. Aspects of positive developement are manifold, but one important is definitely when they move along to a better standard of production and therefore sound. Some of those changes may seem a bit artificial though, especially drastic changes in sound/genre. Funeral Fornication startet in 2003 as a pagan/thrash/black metal band, but they have abandoned most of it and are now playing depressive black metal. Are they just following the trend?

Although it has been said, that Funeral Fornication started as a pagan band, the amount of black metal included was always huge, and it seems that the pagan influences could be found mostly in the lyrics. It’s no real surprise, that personal taste changes, and so the change of style to depressive black metal is nothing unlogical. With the change of style, the change of production standards followed and Pandemic Transgression is well produced. In comparission with other outputs you have to praise its playing time which is above average.

The record is defined through the excessive use of keyboard/synthesizer sounds, which mostly supplies the lead melodies. These melodies are accompanied with severe distorted, (but still differentiated) guitars and some more or less subtle screams/growls from the all around entertainer Vultyrous. The high amount of keyboard sounds is of course dominating the atmosphere, which is, how else could it have been, melancholic and depressive. That the keyboard sounds are dominating the scene is benefitted by the vocals, because they are quite steady.

The pure DSBM passages wouldn’t be very exciting, but the record is spiced up through the use of disharmonic guitar leads and some other shriek sounds, which are weaved in from time to time. Sadly, this doesn’t sound intentional the whole time, and so there are passages which provoke cold shivers. The eagerness to experiment is capitalized and Vultyrous tries to vary the album through clear vocals as well. The passages with clear vocals are mostly combined with synthesizer sounds and some subtle drums.

One of the best examples of a song with clear vocals, that are accentuated by synthesizer sounds, would be The Thorn Of Capricorn. When the tracks would be more epic, and have a slight folk influence, you could compare them with some tracks from Summoning, just to give a small example. The songs are, except of the occasionally used disharmonics, quite predictable, which is a common childhood disease in depressive black metal, which makes them a bit verbose. Nevertheless, the base frame is well done.

Pandemic Transgression is a marbled record. Through the use of disharmonics and clean vocals Vultyrous managed to raise the record a bit above average, but besides that it lacks innovation. The song structures are quite predictable and because of the drum-computer the songs are lacking live, which is enhanced through the constancy of the vocals. However the instruments are played well, and the synthies/keyboard sounds manage to compensate so the lackluster drum sound doesn’t matter so much. Fans of depressive black metal should like the record, everybody else has to ponder if it’s worth it.

Rating: 69/100
Reviewed by; Daniel Dervaric


From: Metal.de
Published: August 25th, 2011

***This is a Google Translated version of a German Review. You can read the original HERE

Honestly, if you already failed at the cover, will be just like the music? Meanwhile, the fourth album FUNERAL FORNICATION comes in cardboard slipcase, and there are actually quite pixelated cover both. This is not only annoying but is a prior question, whether in "Pandemic transgression" like much (or rather a little!) Puts effort - after all, also buys the eye often. This could be in this case a serious disaster. Because acts "Pandeomic Transgression" at first like a pile of scrap metal musical, it turns out after a few intense runs as a well-filled treasure chest. How can that be? Superficially, the eleven songs seem uncoordinated, sometimes even chaotic, Produtkion too thin to work with keyboards, guitars and drums unmotivated roaring. But it depends on the intrinsic values, and there is a successful entertainer Vultyrous Glanztat. Not only can the man sing much better than crying, no, he has exactly the right feeling for atmosphere. The Canadians struck with a multitude of details, with a devotion to emotions and to convey the skill, the Canadian forests to the living room of a big city like Berlin. It's ingredients are not new at all. Rather sluggish pace, sometimes tinged slightly doomy. Noisy guitars that are repeatedly punctuated by soulful leads, and some acoustic guitar parts. On top, there are quite ordinary keys which sometimes take up the guitar and the mood created skillfully complement, but unfortunately not always - sometimes FUNERAL FORCATION acts like the discount version of DIMMU BORGIR (but fortunately not too often). And as I said put some vocals in there, at least with "Cold Colossos" has robbed me of Canadians breath. Such a powerful piece, with clean vocals and raised a thunderous rumbling finale, which I did not expect! mind this is exactly what FUNERAL FORNICATION with. The element of surprise. Certainly, "Pandemic transgression" is not an absolute revelation, but the right mix, the atmosphere is dense, the man can sing (!) And write really good songs. Black Metal can still just get by without big production or post-rock, super!

Rating: 8/10
Reviewed by; The.Beaver


From: Alternativ Musik
Published: August 25th, 2011

***This is a Google Translated version of a German Review. You can read the original HERE

Sometimes things happen just as we have predicted it: So the predecessor was still some talk that there would be no genius stroke, but certainly shows that Funeral Fornication has lots of potential and one can expecta few things from the project. This is true now with Pandemic Transgression . And the opener is already in industrial oils, and female choir sounds, setting the route: it is melancholy and depression to hear - and in many different facets to the point where it can not really be called only depressive black metal.

The first piece is just the first part of three parts, entitled Transgression , which also serve later as both an interlude and an outro which exist the break the album into two separate parts. In the first part of the album it's also very orchestral. Often strings are heard, which may also be times bombastic as is the case in the song Twin Suns. The Thorn of Capricorn could almost be a neo-classic horror play, where you hear a piano with strings and also clearer and more depressive vocals.

In the second part will be a little harder to the point, which is already the case with No one has the right to exist. Glacial Ceremony sounds so cool that you can really sympathize with how it must be to die of hypothermia - do the slow doom riffs to rest.

Pandemic Transgression is a further step forward and impresses with a lot of variety, so you look past the weaknesses in the songwriting that they could best be described as genre-typical. Just as the poor print quality of the slipcase, which contains the CD and on which it is difficult to decipher the song titles. But everything else is good here.

Reviewed by: Tristan Osterfeld


From: Lords of Metal E-Zine
Published: August 31st, 2011

Funeral Fornication is, at first glance, a typical orthodox black metal band, at least if one relies on the artwork. But the album 'Pandemic Transgression’ is clearly from a different cut. It is definitely black metal but the music is not exactly commonplace. Funeral Fornication basically plays relatively simple melodic black metal with a touch of depressiveness but stands out through the creative use of piano, unusual structures and sometimes guitar styles unusual for the genre. The use of synthesizers creates a classical orchestral atmosphere, but always remains quite dark and eerie. For this Funeral Fornication doesn’t need a shabby production; this sounds good. The overall speed is slow and there isn’t a lot of aggression. This is not necessary because the trailing black metal holds the attention quite well. Even if some ideas could be worked out more smoothly. ‘Pandemic Transgression’ is certainly not easily digestible fare, but for the persistent with an open mind, this is quite recommended.

Rating: 77/100
Reviewed by: Roel de Haan


Headbang Webzine
Published: September 11th, 2011

***This is a Google Translated version of an Italian Review. You can read the original HERE

Disk of a certain caliber Pandemic Transgression, the fourth Canadian Funeral fornication fatigue occurs immediately rather cumbersome and provider of a strong dose of maturity (no small thing). The path that led to the conception of the leader Vultyrous this must be suffered and was very tortuous, the album sounds like a sort of "symphony negative" and advise you not to give too much heed to those who define this work (quite foolishly) as pure depressive black metal. There is a lot more about Pandemic Transgression, is the most comprehensive search of damnation, there is the desire to experiment while remaining firmly on a formula sound tested by time. Surely it will not be listening to your life easier, but we slowly realize how well constructed and prepared this effort. The songs largely eschew the banality and a constant veil of symphonic / negative wisely skirts the guitar work and vocals, this is a true test of real suffering, and few in the end those that can boast to succeed in everything perfectly. A deep test of interpretation that can remove many satisfactions along the articulated tracks. The pace is sophisticated in its own way and at times very "doom", there is always a constant slow to embellish the basic structures and keyboards play a decisive role and vital importance.

Of Fornication and Folklore advances and evolves into a catchy and is definitely one of the highlights of the work. I'm not even unwrapped songs such as The Thorn Of Capricorn and Twin Suns, while Cold Colossus gives strong feelings on his end. The background atmosphere becomes even more complete if we take into account the three instrumental boundary (placed at the beginning, middle and end disk), ideal sound mats to be able to better understand all of this creation. In the mid-disk are also the most direct and immediate episode titled No One Has the Right to Exist, a song can suddenly thrust into the head thanks to constant repetition of its title. Glacial Ceremony is the perfect representation of its name, slow dark and oppressive, from which escape is impossible "healthy." Oblique maintains a detachment of vital importance that the first round will end with a ritually effective (and disturbing) In Times of Weakness, My Being is compromised.

Rating: 7/10
Reviewed by: DukeFog


Schwarze-News Webzine
Published: September 12th, 2011

***This is a Google Translated version of a German Review. You can read the original HERE

With the continuing Pagantrend and the flooding of Mjolnir supporting Korpiklaani listeners can one ever come to tears. Whether it be true, at once so depressed on the basis of this development must be of pagan metal, that makes his band simply one DSBM chapel was made only once previously. Much longer imposes itself with such an action by the thought that it is "Vultyrous" the mastermind behind the Canadian Black Metal project Funeral Fornication hidden a little turncoat, who jumps from one trend to the next. whether this is so, or whether such a change can be explained by the nachvollziebahr personal development, hopefully we can in our review of "Pandemic Transgression" fathom.

Admitting this, however, one must know that Vultyrous always been a pretty tough track is down and therefore probably only conceptually something has changed in the direction of his project. I must admit that I look at the dark, distorted sound and the Canadiancan hardly imagine paying homage tooting as Wotan, as is already in the intro with the first of three pieces of clear transgression here is where the hare. Funeral Fornication sound is oppressive. Dark, scary and maybe a little crazy. If the transition to the first "real" piece and not as unpleasant abrubt the bill would also rise. After the ever-increasing intro takes to come back but with quiet piano-plunking around the corner, the tension built up again quickly. Generall the album relies on the keyboard so extreme that one in songs like "The Thorn of Capricorn" has the feeling of listening to an amateur Summoning waste. This is sometimes a rather obvious Leitmelodie stolen (if only I knew where I know them) or one or another point in it because of an oblique tones down cold all over.

Now sounds very negative? Despite everything, I would not say the "Pandemic Transgression" is really all bad. The Canadians, after all, trying to change significantly and therefore can not seep into the average. Vocally, the man tried everything out once, from deep growls to croak over heavily distorted to not so clear-bad moments. Between harder (or just too bad distorted parts) such as "No One Has the Right to Exist" is enlivened with lots of keyboards every now and otherwise he never loses himself in a mishmash of many colleagues as Deprisektors. What certainly not least is the fact that the individual instruments are always good to hear and act out the riffs never soggy. Potential is given absolutely, I can write good conscience that made Funeral Fornication may well be something else. And those who are inclined to tune some moments not so much disturbing as I do, the mix of dark and Summoning DSBM may well give you one more chance.

I have to admit that you feel not quite so at ease in the music range such a cruel cliché Cover adduced and then also has a somewhat suspicious background. The man posing in the woods, published earlier albums with titles like Paganheart and is now a deadly sad DSBMler? Well, you do not. In this case one can really speak well of personal development, because musically it remains true to himself and the whining goes Deprischiene not the album. Rather, the man tries to oppress, which he succeeds once more or less. Pity that the atmosphere suffers greatly skewed in many moments and the not so successful transitions, because potential is actually given. <

Rating: 6.5/10
Reviewed by: Gypsy Boy


From: Pest Webzine
Published: September 15th, 2011

Second album for this Canadian act since changing style from a more traditional Black Metal to a Depressive Black Metal genre, "Pandemic Transgression" is a one hour long full-length containing 11 tracks. The first thing you notice is that the intro has basically nothing to do with the rest of this CD, it would better fit a Death or Thrash Metal release rather than a DBM one, but maybe there's a hidden meaning to it after all. Vultyrous' main advantage and at the same time the main point of interest on this release is the keyboards part composition, melancholic, dreamy, dark and majestic at times, which combined with acoustic guitars and Vultyrous' versatile vocals (ranging from clean to screams to growls), succeeds in creating a deep atmosphere. The rest of the instrumental part is average except for the nice guitar leads which compensates on this matter, so all in all Funeral Fornication presents us an interesting album displaying a lot of potential, recommended to followers of Doomy, Melancholic Black Metal, but beware, the sound isn't the best around.

Rating: 7.5/10
Reviewed by: Adrian


From: Forbidden Magazine
Published: Octber 1st, 2011

Having been familiar with Funeral Fornication in the past, I looked forward to hearing what sole-member Vultyrous had summoned for his third full length release, ‘Pandemic Transgression’. The raw production of 2008’s Murder Cult Eidolon is long gone and with it, much of the energy and musical focus that was once quite present.

I found that Pandemic Transgression falls short in the same regard as Ekove Efrits: over-production and lack of focus. For such a grandiose production and lyrical offering, the musical progression of Pandemic Transgression tends to be imbalanced, switching all-too-leisurely between ‘riffs’ or ‘passages’ that bear little semblance to one another, save for the fact that they are maybe in the same minor key. The piano is great touch when left alone but when buried under the reverb-drenched drum machine, guitar, bass, vocal and keyboard layers, it tends to be a touch over-shadowed.

For all the talk about ‘depressive’ black metal, I have found this emotion best invoked through repetition of chords, melodies or drum patterns. As soon as I found a passage in Pandemic Transgression favorable, it changed, normally into something that was much inferior to it’s precursor. I don’t know why a repetitive drone stirs such an emotion without writing a more explorative essay but I will tip my hat to the artists on Hypnotic Dirge Records for challenging the status quo, and reaching beyond the limits of the aesthetics of black metal and following their own path.

The use of language may be Funeral Fornication’s most redeeming quality with Pandemic Transgression. Tracks like ‘Twin Suns’ and ‘The Thorn of Capricorn’ contain just enough imagery to tie the sporadic musical musings together into a coherent form, creating an atmosphere that leans more towards spiritual freedom amongst the cosmos rather than the bondage and torments of a life in flesh.

Reviewed by: Sleepwalker


From: Funeral Rain Webzine
Published: October 2nd, 2011

It’s quite unreal the amount of quality work that is coming from Hypnotic Dirge as a record label. Skog has been signing such great bands that really are different from the standards in depressive black metal (which is HDR’s primary bread and butter along with more ambient sounds), and Funeral Fornication is not a change of his general attitude.

FF’s newest album, Pandemic Trangression, is at it’s core depressive black metal but it has so many facets to it that it almost immediately steps out from the shadow of generic one man closet DSBM. Clean guitars and pianos, true singing, and symphonics that would make Dimmu Borgir proud are brought together with a real rawness that you could only get from the mountains of British Columbia.

This is Canadian black metal like no other, and I definitely recommend it for fans of the aforementioned Dimmu Borgir, old Cradle of Filth, Spectre, and the shoegazing black metal that is seeming to be taking over the world (Alcest, An Autumn for Crippled Children, etc.).

Reviewed by: General Blaspheme
Rating: 8/10


From: Nocturnal Cult Webzine
Published: October 9th, 2011

Canadian suicidal black metaller Funeral Fornication returns for another foray into the realm of atmospheric and diabolic bleakness. One of my problems with previous Funeral Fornication efforts was the drum machine and to a degree this issue has been addressed. A drum machine is still utilized but it has a more organic feel to it, so it is not near as distracting as it used to be. The album's intro is a pulsing beat with eastern female vocals, creating an air of mysticism. And then the beautiful piano and emotional guitars of Of Fornication and Folklore begin. The tortured shrieks of Vultyrous add to the sorrow of the track and are compounded by the forlorn melodies that rise in the moments of stillness. Heavier doom riffs lumber out of the fringes of the song as it trudges towards its demise. The synth that greets the listener as The Thorn of Capricorn begins lends a symphonic edge to the track. Swirling leads pierce the ambient synth and the song continues to be dominated by keyboards and clean, deep vocals. The vocals become more emotional and pleading as the song continues on and I must say the music is at its emotional peak when Vultyrous uses his voice in the manner. This is the case throughout the album. The piano that announces Cold Colossus brings to mind Stormblast era Dimmu, however the forlorn melodic guitar is more along the lines of traditional doom, though it is more barren. No One Has The Right To Exist follows a more traditional symphonic black metal structure with its demonic shrieks and synth drive movements. The chorus invokes the deadly logic of the song's title and then a stabbing melodic lead arcs across the top of the instruments followed by the catchy main synth line. Funeral Fornication continues to improve with each release and Pandemic Transgression, while not perfect, is a melancholic dose of black metal which should inspire you to end it all. My main hope for him is that he someday decides to get the services of a real drummer for his recordings, it would certainly enhance the emotional impact of Funeral Fornication's compositions.

Reviewed by: Bradley Smith


From: Black Metal Reviews
Published: October 12th, 2011

A very interesting CD, this one. Funeral Fornication is the vehicle of expression of a Canadian blackheart called Vultyrous, who’s been flying this banner since 2003. His art has diversified and changed considerably over the years and the current sound is ambient / depressive Black Metal, with an epic feel and a forlorn sense of grandeur. Sometimes it gets a little too pompous but by and large this is a worthwhile listen.

I like the tortured, distorted vocals (when in use), which fit in perfectly with the sometimes carnival-esque atmosphere to create a genuine sense of menace. A nice variety of instruments is brought to the table and all are performed competently, indeed with flair, as FF trawls through a gamut of emotions and manages to conjure a slab of ambient Black Metal that’s mostly neither tedious nor bland.

Regular readers of this website will know that my preference is for grim, raw BM. This certainly isn’t that. And there are some very dodgy clean vocals to be found along the way (for which I’ve deducted points, of course) but all in all it’s a good enough effort. While ‘Pandemic Transgression’ is by no means the best album you’re going to hear this year, I can imagine a lot of people really appreciating the soundscapes located on what is – with all due credit – an ambitious and fairly accomplished piece of work, even if not quite my preferred cup of sorrow.


From: Aristocracy Webzine
Published: November 7th, 2011

***This is a Google Translated version of an Italian Review. You can read the original HERE

Vultyrous is not a character unknown to our 'zine, we had already crossed as a singer / guitarist Artep, the Funeral fornication are his solo project which gave birth in 2003 as an act influences from pagan / black / thrash then tacking on solutions near the realm of depression. The year 2011 brings with it also "Pandemic Transgression", new work release under this moniker. It is no coincidence that I find in my hands a platter sounds dark and diluted, do not push the rhythmic almost (almost) never on the accelerator, is a version of a power that draws from the slope to the limit with more than funeral doom atmosphere thanks to the work of the 'artist in re-inspired melodies and sinister wise to use the piano and synths to increase the feeling of perpetual decay that in some franquenti almost to the point of persecution with the frescoed rooms with full-bodied, dense flow of melancholy but graceful fettering.

These are the qualities of the album "Pandemic Transgression" which in real songs like "The Thorn Of Capricorn", "Twin Suns" and "Glacial Ceremony" also highlights the structures typical of the kind not forcibly "depression" are in fact richer, eclectically enhanced by the symphony and vocal performance in a balanced split between recited, clean, growl and scream. If many are the advantages listed, is also true that some difettuccio here and it can be seen, not least the fact that the piano, elegant and functional the atmospheric dynamics, end up in more than one occasion to be almost buried in the ensemble when taking a more substantial, it is especially the drum machine to obscure their presence. Another small but "treatable" deficiency is linked to wanting to deliberately complicate life, when they have an extremely varied riffing and able to properly perform its task in both the funeral and in those moments of dark metal junction, I do not understand why on some occasions seem to compress and then lead to nothing, to say the these truths are sporadic moments and you will easily realize by themselves what they are.

Overall "Pandemic Transgression" is a well-managed, in its lulling instrumental forays assigned to the three parts that make up "Transgression" ("In Exordium "," Ad Mortem "," Ex Inferis ") and just as disturbingly intriguing with regard to the remaining tracks. If you love heavy metal pollution of all backgrounds (dark, doom, black) Funeral fornication find in a nice answer to your musical needs, there I highly recommend listening.


From: Hard Rock Magazine; Issue #37
Published: November 17th, 2011

***This is a Google Translated version of a French Review.
The original review is published in the physical magazine 'Hard Rock: Issue #37'

If we learn anything from the discovery of this one-man band in Canada, it should not be put off by the flatness of a laughable name and unsubtle titles. (the previous album is called Solitude and Suicide.) It is clearly not in the name of the project or albums that the greatest originality of the project lies. With the latest album 'Pandemic Transgression', the author Vultyrous continues shaping the malleable black metal, which was born under pagan influences and thrash in 2002 but has gone to a depressive style in recent years. Far from being locked into the apathy of its kind, it gives him pompous airs with great fanfare synths and keyboards and invests a certain mystery. Symphonic presence, combined with tortuous vocal lines and guitar parts and some disturbing ambient and for maintaining a theatrical horror at the Gloomy Grim in this album almost as rich in musical touches that his name is caricature.

Reviewed by: Jessica Boucher-Rétif
Rating: 7/10


From: Metal Revolution
Published: November 21st, 2011

A veteran Canadian one-man army; Funeral Fornication/Vultyrous released its long awaited new album Pandemic Transgression earlier this year. It’s been more than two years since the release of its predecessor Solitude and Suicide, but Funeral Fornication have been busy spending the time to create an album defining the pinnacle Funeral Fornication sound. Here it is; 11-tracker Pandemic Transgression.

The musical style on this record is a typical orthodox, yet melodic, ambient and depressive black metal. On Pandemic Transgression this warrior shows his ability to write captivating and addictive songs with a variety of different influences and atmospheres. He uses powerful and mostly clean and dodgy vocals, catchy, dark and melodic tunes. All of the tracks are equally experimental, unique and bleak.

The overall speed is slow and there isn’t a lot of aggression. On the other hand what characterizes Funeral Fornication’ sound is the superb use of piano, synths and guitars.

This is certainly not an easily digestible collection of tracks, but the pinnacle of Funeral Fornication's discography, and the necessary soundtrack to your funeral fucking fornications. Although it sometimes gets a little too ambitious & pompous, by and large this is a quite recommended material!

Reviewed by: Bato
Rating: 68/100


From: Teeth of the Divine
Published December 16th, 2011

So if Ov Hollowness‘s Drawn to Descend was my favorite of recent Hypnotic Dirge Records’ and Ekove Efrits Conceptual Horizon was my least favorite, Pandemic Transgression from Canada’s one man black metal maven Vultyrous, is my middle release.

As with any good one man black metal project, there’s boons and pit falls. The pit fall here is the programmed drums. And the boon is that Vultyrous, despite the ‘band’s’ early pagan thrash days (this is his second effort of four total albums in this style) , has developed a nice, twisted, and developed sense of grim, experimental and darkly deliberate, doomy black metal.

Other than the drums, the production is decent. The guitars have a nice big burly crunch and the keyboards are used effectively with a sensual, yet twisted, orchestral operatic vibe. Vultyrous himself has the typical vocal range for such a release ranging from pained distant howl, deep bellow, vampyric whisper and even an passable singing voice (“The Thorn of Capricorn”).

Not nearly as experimental as label mate Ekove Efrits, Pandemic Transgression is far more consistent as the like of “Of Fornication and Folklore” “Twin Suns”, “Cold Colossus” and surprisingly heavy closing riff of “In Times of Weakness, My Being is Compromised” are far more riff centric and memorable even with the heavily used, but twisted, psychotic orchestration (“Oblique”). The pace is either a slow haunting crawl or slightly menacing steady trot, but both are effective in conveying a Jekyll and Hyde aura of unsettling moods and unpredictable shifts.

The only real misstep is “No One has the Right to Exist” as the rock based drum beat just further exposes their programmed nature. But luckily, the 8 and a half minute “Glacial Ceremony” erases the memory of that track with an album best mix of depressive atmospherics, eerie strings, crawling riffs, whispers and a harsh black metal climax.

With only two albums of this ilk to his name, Vultyrous looks to have a pretty firm grasp on the dynamics needed to make and effective one man black metal album in this style, and if he keeps improving and being this productive (4 albums and a split in 4 years), hell be one to watch out for.

Reviewed by: Eric Thomas


From: Hierophant-Nox Webzine
Published January 3rd, 2012

Funeral Fornication’s Vultyrous has shown admirable determination over the years when it comes to judging when to rest the project, and when to re-animate his creative vision. “Pandemic Transgression” is the fourth full-length from this metamorphosing black metal project, following pretty close on the heels of 2009’s “Solitude and Suicide”, but exhibiting, once again, rather a marked departure in terms of style. There seems to be a tendency to latch onto the part of Funeral Fornication’s biography that points out that Vultyrous’s taste for depressive black metal grew, and to label the band unthinkingly thus. To do so might be to miss out on an incredible diverse, eclectic and inspired offering.

We might be wearying of ‘depressive’, but I don’t think ‘symphonic’ does a band any favours these days either. Still, it keeps cropping up in my notes as I sit and imbibe this album. It’s not the kind of plastic symphony that has you reaching for your Dimmu Borgir ejector seat release (although FF are capable of just as much grandeur as that band, for example on “The Thorn of Capricorn”). It’s a modern, ambient-influenced use of keyboards that makes some tracks utterly soar: weird, fearless and fresh. “Oblique” is a stand-out track in this regard, opening with clean piano then ravaged by a wonderfully grim-toned guitar line. Vultyrous is a talented player, and the neat, evil stomp this track has is mostly due to the economy and skill of his guitar work. He also, it transpires, has a rather lovely clean singing voice, which makes an almost ritual impact here, interweaving with the awesomely huge synths and growling, cultish guitar to result in something at once complex, epic and tribal.

“Glacial Ceremony” is another strong creation, and in this track the depressive element really does shine through. Again, the crackling, searing guitar tone is delicious, but an acoustic layer and slow, desperately sad repetitions, overlaid with violin and a harsh low growl, make this one of the most melancholy offerings. It’s absolutely wrong to suggest that Funeral Fornication stick in this mode, however – just take a listen to “No One Has the Right to Exist”, which mingles a sharp, thrashy riff with pulsing bass and shifting ambience. It’s a clever, edgy, slice of dark rock; a skittering beat molests an organ here, the main riff builds back in with rampaging gusto there… I like it. Indeed, across the course of “Pandemic Transgression” it seems like Vultyrous re-visits many of the various genres and flavours that have influenced him throughout his career, but then with some kind of diabolical new inspiration produces something quite unexpected.

I did have to wrestle with the album for quite some time, and eventually managed to attribute this to “Of Fornication and Folklore”, a track which had elements reminding me of Rotting Christ, or last-decade’s Samael, but seemed to completely eschew logical structure in favour of ambition. Actually, once you get past this track, the rest of the album is very carefully structured, and a non-intrusive production allows you to really enjoy that factor, occasionally irritating drum machine effects aside. Nobody could deny that Vultyrous has palpably come into his own on this album; there’s massive growth from the previous release, although whether many will choose to ‘get’ it remains to be seen. A bit like sex at a funeral, then; decidedly weird, not to everyone’s taste, but throws up quite some spasms of marvelousness.

Reviewed by: Ellen Simpson
Rating: 79/100