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Here we have 1349's forbidden foray into something... umm... different. Forbidden because black metal fans know what they like, know why they like it and loathe everything else. We often have tunnel vision (tunnel hearing?) when it comes to our favourite artists, because we become attached to the feelings and sentiment that their music evokes in us. Naturally we come to expect that very same emotional fix with each new release. So when a band decides to stray off their pre-beaten path, we can't help but feel let down. We all know that feeling, don't we? I always think of Darkthrone as the cliched example of this, who after numerous radical changes in musical style and expression, still have many fans who wish they were the very same band they were two decades ago, all due to the strong emotional attachment people still have with their early work. Well, time passes. Things change. Thems the breaks.
Many fans refer to Revelations of the Black Flame as 1349's experiment that failed. Dismally, according to some. This judgment is understandable to anyone familiar with the band's previous work, but somewhat unfair if this record is taken on its own merit. I see this not as a 1349 album, but as a collaborative side project with Thomas Gabriel Warrior Fischer, which yielded mixed results, from high quality art to utter crap.
Think about it for a moment... compare this record to all past 1349 material, then compare it to Monotheist and Eparistera Daimones. See? Although the liners say this was co-mixed by Fischer, it should also say the entire record was inspired and driven by him, maybe even dominated by him. His presence, his ego and his abyssmal emotional spiral are all so prevalent you can practically smell the man's buttcrack through your speakers. This is minimalist, avant-garde, necro-depresso, industri-black death-doom. Feel free to throw in some hyphenated bullshit descriptions of your own.
You know that feeling you get, when you no longer care to move any part of your body because the entire universe has just come to an end for all eternity. That kind of feeling. Although this experience can be profound, interesting and even somehow cleansing, a whole disc worth of such material can be too much to take in one dose, especially for those of us who are not self absorbed and totally fucking insane like Mr Fischer. But if you forget about 1349 as you know them, give this record a chance and you may find interesting things here, just as you will with Fischer's other recent work.
I won't lie to you. A lot of material here is nothing but self-indulgent, go-nowhere drivel and drudgery that is sometimes so mind numbingly dull that you want to shit your pants just to have something else to do. But some other bits and pieces are more interesting, if you appreciate them in their context. I hesitate to name any at this point, for two good reasons: I am still in the process of finding them myself, not an easy task, but most of all, because it really is up to you, the individual listener, to find the themes on this record that elicit an emotional response. Take the time to find parts you like, listen to them on a cloudy day, while looking out an open window over unpopulated scenery, whatever, something like that, you get the idea.