The cult from Toulon were best known to the citizens of southern France for their activity on one Saturday night in June, 1996. The names of FUNERAL and BLESSED IN SIN soon became linked to “satanic terrorists” and led to years of legal issues even for those not directly involved.
To the French underground both bands were already well known. FUNERAL had released a split tape with OSCULUM INFAME earlier in 1996 on Malkira Eskhanth’s A.M.S.G. label and Drakkar, spreading over 1200 copies.
By the end of 1996 FUNERAL, without Black Christ and Xaphan, became KRISTALLNACHT. Hades (now L.F.) released six new records between 1997 and 2002 (plus two compilations). He was able to continue recording with assistance from members of GODKILLER, OSCULUM INFAME and at various times both Xaphan and Black Christ returned to the lineup. It is a chaotic and infamous legacy!
The CD version of Blooddrenched Memorial gives a detailed year-by-year history of the bands.
FUNERAL and KRISTALLNACHT created grandiose music initially influenced by Norwegian and Polish black metal.
Early material is drenched in keyboards playing lead melody. This remains the most characteristic sound giving it an intentionally anthemic feel. The keys become less important in later releases, guitars took over texture and melody; as with SEIGNEUR VOLAND, the band formed later by Xaphan with L.F. on guitar.
This is some of the best from France – unique and memorable songs that improved through the years. As the music adapted so didthe lyrics, as did L.F.’s vision. By 2002 he was ready to put the band to rest:
After 8 years of existence, I decided to put an end to KRISTALLNACHT.
I will say that I don’t regret nor deny at all what I have done with KRISTALLNACHT: I totally stand proud!
The warspirit is still alive but on a even more individual ideological basis for me now, therefore.
Read the full 2002 statement here.
The music stands alone. The non-music stories of ’96 are interesting only for black metal history, and so if you are interested….
The following are some news stories from Toulon in 1996. As Black Christ says in our interview from 2005 these are all old stories and everyone involved has long (20 years now!) since moved on.
L.F. continued with KRISTALLNACHT, joined Seigneur Voland and formed Desolation Triumphalis. His last officially released music ended around 2006. Black Christ continues with the great BLESSED IN SIN. Xaphan conceived Seigneur Voland in prison and formed it at the turn of the millennium, he plays in Finis Gloria Dei with Black Christ and is vocalist with Enfeus Lodge.
9 June 1996
The first news report of grave desecration (which happened on the night of Saturday 8th-Sunday 9th June) by the France 3 channel. This segment shows the cemetery and aftermath.
17 July 1996
After the investigation and arrest. France 3 channel. This shows the Jesus “Wanted for crimes against humanity” leaflet and a fanzine interview with FUNERAL.
Article by L’express, 20 June 1996: Les Satan de Provence