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After releasing two demos, the four-piece black metal band 1349 released this self titled EP with a fine guest, Frost from Satyricon. This EP was one of the first black metal released I ever heard, and it still kicks ass. It's pretty regular, besides the drumming which slams through the songs playing a larger role than in other black metal acts. The riffing here is pretty good and has the good raspy black metal sound as always.
Ravns vocals are done well, they are not as shrieking as usual black metal but they are still pretty evil, which is almost required in this evil genre of metal. Image-wise that is. The first song, End of All is more focused on the drumming while the second song, Antichrist Warzone starts out with a kinda melodic guitar tune (as melodic as black metal back in the days could be with that guitar sound). Chaos Within is also a good song, mixing again up the riffing along the drumming, both instruments filling equally. The bass is decent and audible at times, not much to add there.
Then there's the last song which is a cover of the Celtic Frost song; "The Usurper". It's mostly up to the one listener to decide wether they like it or not in my opinion. Vocals are more raspy here, but it's also a live version. Ravn is playing the drums on this track also. It's not a bad live recording, you can hear the instruments and vocals pretty clear.
All in all, this EP is pretty nice, some quality black metal here with nice riffs, decent vocals and some.. Alternative drumming shall we call it. For being an EP (and black metal even) the production is pretty clear. It does not sound like it was recorded in a forest or a bottle.
Along with Liberation and this little ep, 1349 achieved all they could've wished for. A band that never claimed, nor sought to bring anything new to the table executed some of the better replica second wave bm of the day. Being that Frost hasn't done anything interesting drumwise in awhile, this album allows him to show of his chops which have fallen to the wayside with the amazingly lackluster Satyricon of the modern era. Doing something Carpathian Forest wishes they could, as well as a slew of other bands, 1349 competently executes fast, relentless and blasphemous black metal just the way Euronymous used to make it.
1349 feels like a band who's had a long career and has been in the decline, or reunited and felt that they ought to return to their roots. The music, while modernizing to a small degree, in terms of production, is wholly of the past (even a fun Celtic Frost cover; they're still cool right?). The guitars are a beehive of buzz, yet retain an easily distinguishable tone. Relying upon simple, but effective and sometimes melodic riffs, 1349 blazes its way through its three original tracks. Surprisingly Ravn's vocals don't suck here as they do with later recordings and sound quite venomous. The ep sounds like it was very carefully recorded in a cave.
And then, of course there's Frost. Pounding on tracks 1-3, he blasts and blasts and blasts. The tone of his drum kit is awesome, the bass drums sound super meaty and powerful and the snare has an awesome crunch to it. For the most part his work is just a test of endurance and speed, but not boring like Derek Roddy, this actually sounds like a person's doing the drumming (no triggers?). Cool little rolls, constant blasts, meaty double bass, and an overall "i'm the fucking boss here" attitude.
Apparently (according to MA) Ravn drums and sings on the excellent cover of Celtic Frost's "The Usurper," which doesn't seem too easy. The cover is excellent (did i say that?), especially the hilarious backing vocals. There's plenty of "ughs" and "heys" to make 'ol Tom G. proud, and a neat guitar solo (who knew 1349 could, or would solo?).
Overall 1349 serves as a little piece of nostalgia, and for those times where you want to listen to second wave black metal, but aren't interested in the songs you've heard 1,000 times before.
A nice slice of home made black metal, nothing fancy, nothing absurd, just good music.
I'm gonna start off by saying that I don't agree with most reviewers out there -- this EP is really not that outstanding. Now, the three songs presented here may be better than their next three albums, but this fact doesn't make the compositions good per se.
Now, on to music. Here, ladies and gentlemen, we've got some boring, by-the-book black metal. The quality of sound is decent for the style, but listens more like a demo rather than a full-fledged EP.
The album starts off pretty nice, with a good base line but loses all the charm once the blast beats come through. After that, you can pretty much forget about hearing the base guitar again. In fact, the only instruments that are clearly heard are the drums. Vocals come in close second and are actually very decent. The singer uses a pleasant (if such term can be used in black) rasp that doesn't annoy after several minutes and actually lets you distinguish some words. Guitars are very mushed and often melodies blend together into porridge of buzzing and hell knows what.
In terms of melodies, there are a few highlights on the album, like start of "Chaos Within". The rest, however, is EXTREMELY boring. I mean, there is not a lick of originality here. These guys have got to lay off the black metal textbook for a while.
The beam of light in this release is pretty entertaining live track. It's got some nice rasping and some punk rock shouting throughout. And to top it, there is a half-good solo towards the end. Consequently, this track bumped up the mark by ten percent.
Overall, this is not a lost cause of an album, but these guys could've done way better. There is talent, it's just not utilized properly. Quite frankly, I didn't find what other reviewers seem to have found here. Come on, Frost!
1349 is a band known for their speed and brutality, this self titled EP is one of their better releases, its fast, its extreme but these are not the only qualities in these songs, this EP is much more than that, it’s a perfect example of very good black metal.
The songs are very good, full of atmosphere created by the rawness of the production and some fast drumming with outstanding distorted guitar riffs. If you think that this is one of those bands who only play fast and nothing else then you’re wrong, the songs mostly consist of lots of fast parts but there’re some mid paced black metal parts in a few songs that adds the flavor to the speed when it reappears. The vocals are typical black metal shrieks and have been omitted in the usual Norwegian black metal style. The lyrics are full of hatred, they’re not cheesy and they’re really good if you look at them for a misanthropist’s perspective.
The guitars have been played in traditional black metal way, short, fast & distorted riffs create really great atmosphere when combined with very impressive drumming by Frost. Total playing time is just under 18 minutes, all the songs are interesting, the Celtic Frost cover is fun to listen, but the first track “End of All” is denser than the other songs because of the atmosphere & you should look out for that one because that one is the highlight of the whole EP.
There’s very good musicianship in these songs & the vocals are way above average, so every black metal fan will be able to enjoy these songs, all the songs are enjoyable to quite an extent, some more than the others. Enjoy!
Sadly, 1349's 1349 is second best on their list of releases, right under "Hellfire." On this EP, 1349 goes for straight up brutal black metal with no intentions of holding back. For about 18 minutes, 1349 do a great job of filling those 18 minutes with good music.
For the most part, this EP is almost nothing like 1349 future attempts. The production is raw yet clear. There is a nice thin atmosphere on top of all of the music but it is ruined from the intensity of the music.
There is no fooling around with riffs on this EP. It's clear that 1349 just wanted to wanted to make some awesome black metal. The riffs are dark and evil. There is also the occasional speeding up but that's about it for variation. They even pull of a guitar solo in "The Usurper," which is actually a thrashy song. "End of All" is the best song out of the four just because it's so damn good. The drumming on each song is solid. Frost had one thing on his mind; PLAY FAST! Now, don't get me wrong, this EP is more than just blast-beats. There’s some nice laid out parts pushed into some spots but they only last about 5 seconds. The vocals are amazing. I would have to say that this EP holds the best vocals in 1349's discography. They are ordinary black metal but the tone/sound to them is just unique. Many bands speak of being "evil" but 1349 doesn't need all of that. 1349's music speaks for itself.
For an 18-minute EP, 1349 does a good job with the music. I think it could have been longer but this will suffice. I suggest you get it because there is some awesome music on this.