Welcome to Demo:listen, your weekly peek into the future of underground extreme metal. Whether they’re death, black, doom, sludge, grind, thrash, -core, heavy, speed, punk-, stoner, etc., we’re here to bring you the latest demos from the newest bands. For this Friday the 13th Demo:listen we’re in a black metal bunker in Norway with Funeral Harvest.
The latest Norwegian threat to Christendom is a five track demo called Bunker Ritual Rehearsal. A demo that’s a demonstration of a new band’s stylings as much as it is strong evidence for there being paranormal and evil forces at work in the world. Bunker Ritual Rehearsal is a conjuring, a four-headed abomination, introduced by a solemn sung sermon, captured within the rehearsal space of this Trondheim-based trio.
According to Nathas, guitarist and backing vocalist of Funeral Harvest, the band formed in September 2015 as himself and Belphegor, Funeral Harvest’s vocalist and drummer.
“Since  we worked on the songs that we finally recorded at the Bunker after including K (bass) to our lines,” says Nathas.
“B.R.R. took almost 2 years before we recorded. We never been to the studio for recording our songs. Every rehearsal was a ritual for us and we wanted to capture that feeling. That is why we recorded all four songs live, in real time . . . We recorded with 3 professional microphones and the last one we decided to use only one in the altar to show the exact sound and atmosphere we felt.”
Bunker Rehearsal Ritual is an immersive experience. It helps that all of the songs guide you into their dark realms with doom or ominous riffings. After a ritualistic start, opening song “Nihil Sub Sole Novum” earns its nihilistic moniker. It sounds like a doom song for about thirty-five seconds. Then it turns on you like a corpse reanimated by demons.
“‘Nihil sub sole novum’ is a Latin phrase of memento mori,” Nathas explains. “There is nothing new under the sun because everybody, one after the other, we die. We are born. We live and die in the same way and time. The song honors death as the mother of life and father of the end. And remember that no one is blessed before they die.”
“Shepherd of Rats” proves Funeral Harvest are as deadly as they are tight and well-practiced. You can practically smell the sweat and smoke on this track. Feel the grime on your skin, residue from when this monstrosity was wrangled down and trapped onto tape.
The third song “Sacred Dagger” is pure Satanic madness. The vocals no longer bear any human resemblance and the song starts and stops like various demonic entities are tugging at its soul.
“‘Sacred Dagger’ refers mainly to Satanism, Sacrifices, Blood and Devotion,” says Nathas. “This song [is] pure devotion to the altar of Satan, who lives in each of us. ‘His Fire, My Will.’”
In five days’ time, you can get your own copy of Bunker Ritual Rehearsal from Iron Bonehead. I would lock one down if I were you. As Nathas cryptically puts it: “Funeral Harvest is just starting. Our first chapter is closed. Opening a new one, but we want to keep for us.”