Origin: Rotterdam, South Holland, The Netherlands 🇳🇱
Genre: Black Metal
Having been established in 1991, during the height of the fabled second-wave and having also remained underground for its entire existence, The Netherlands’ Funeral Winds has – over the course of its scourge of Holland and the rest of the world – proven to be a project with a deep understanding of the importance of integrity as it does now and should always stand paramount over notoriety or commerce. And as this decades long storm of death has swept over earthen soil; dusting corrosive poison upon all life and all hope, it’s been founding member Hellchrist Xul who has summed up to be the only warrior possessing of the kind of strength, fortitude and loyalty necessary to wage war under the Funeral Winds banner.
Funeral Winds is set to release its latest full-length studio album, “Stigmata Mali” on February 24 via the nefarious Osmose Productions.
“Stigmata Mali” took me by surprise. I was expecting a pure throwback – one that harkens back to those first pure days when the path to an even more diabolical way of spreading death was first lain. Instead, what I’m being met with here is a dynamic product that feels more like a breakthrough album. Glaring, aggressive and utterly lethal with a deeper focus on production quality. A bold yet unsanitized recording that pays homage to those aforementioned days of olde, but mostly in composition and in spirit. Otherwise, HCX is flashing the glint of refined steel… and is it ever menacing. Prepare to fall victim to the most abominable riffs imaginable set to the inertia-inducing momentum of jackhammer bass lines and cataclysmic rhythmic concussions. A full-on frontal attack driven upon horrific double-bass currents that shake the earth like 100,000 unholy crusader’s boots rumbling forward on their way toward glory on a conquest for Christian death.
From start to finish, “Stigmata Mali” is well-balanced, masterfully-executed black metal that hits at all three levels: cranium, gut and loin. A Watain or Gorgon-like level of explosiveness that can be felt during the most intense parts of tracks like the titular cut and “The Angles of Darkness”. The former splits your already deep wounds open even further with flaying progressions that give way to soft lulls. All phases fade into the backdrop; allowing for the sound of fiendish blasphemies to snake their way along the surface like the glean of shimmering crimson as it glistens the edges of lacerated Christian flesh. Even with all of these superlatives to boast, with “Stigmata Mali”, HCX manages to stay well within the realm of what’s considered to be true black metal, all the while as the limits of Funeral Winds’ sonic capacities are pushed to newer and deadlier lengths.
Gentle winds of plague building into gales of death and decay now as we prepare for the coming of “Stigmata Mali”. Can you smell the agony of crucifixion In the air? In this latest volume, the nails are driven in harder and the spears plunged in deeper… All hellish blasphemies and desecrations carried out under the ever-watchful and all-approving eye of one of the scene’s most prestigious labels.
As of yet, there have been no tracks from “Stigmata Mali” released to the public.