…I get a feeling that 2018 is going to be a good year for fast, furious and brutal black metal…

Now, Funeral Winds may take a bit of time getting a full-length record out, but when they do, they don’t fuck about.

The follow-up album to 2007’s ‘Nexion Xul – The Cursed Bloodline’ from this Dutch band, keeps things pretty old school. Think Hellhammer, Venom, and early Carpathian Forest.

There are D-beats, blast beats, and even classic sounding “cardboard” beats along with the ravenous riffing, all delivered with blasphemous spite from vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Hellchrist Xul and drummer M.Z. Inversus. Sometimes razor-sharp and cold, and sometimes working on a grander and more invoking scale, ‘Sinister Creed’ still has a crusty punk edge running rampantly throughout.

And it’s full pelt with the frenetic ‘The Road to Perdition’. Old school style and rasping vox, with a guitar sound that helps produce Funeral Winds’ very own ‘Into the Crypts of Rays’.

The pace continues with ‘Cursed is this Pantheon of Flesh’, and things get even nastier. A dirty vibe unpinned by some glorious kick drum, and when the third track proclaims “My master Satan has arrived”, there’s no complaints here!

The title track may fool you with a more considered pace, but it’s back to business with the demonic buzz saw blast-fest of ‘Blood’, while things take a grander turn with the atmospheric and rejoicing backing vocals of ‘Black Moon Over Saturn’.

The sheer single-minded determination of ‘Sekhmet’ gives way to a great groove breakdown, and the intoning low-fi brutality of ‘Nunc et in hora mortis nostrae’ ends ‘Sinister Creed’ in strong style.

To the bands credit, they have produced an album of conviction and intent, with every ounce of unnecessary fat trimmed clean off. So, if you’re still reeling from the short, sharp shock delivered by a certain Swedish band earlier on in January, you might do well to check this out.

(7.5/10 Stuart Carroll)