Finland's self-appointed "Anti-Christian Extreme Metal" outfit Funeris Nocturnum was formed in late 1998 by vocalist Torment (later rebaptized Trmnt.xes), guitarist Grimort, and drummer Draco. Their goal: to emmulate the raw-boned, black metal intensity set down by the likes of Marduk and Dark Funeral before them. Their first demo, appropriately named Slay and Burn, arrived a year later and helped them secure a deal with independent Woodcut Records, which issued the band's first album, Pure Satanic Blasphemy, in the spring of 2000. The following year's sophomore From the Aspect of Darkly Illuminated was at once technically superior and given to a more ambitious symphonic style of black metal, the band now adopting silver face paint during its concerts for added effect. Funeris Nocturnum carried on expanding their sonic palette with 2002's Code 666: Religion Syndrome Deceased, which saw lone remaining original member Trmnt.xes assisted by guitarists ImpresouvenairMort-nèrgal and Sin'equamnon, keyboardist Ruho, bassist Horgath, and drummer Tmon.