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Clean black metal ... Christians on a mission. - 21%

oneyoudontknow, May 24th, 2009

The only good news, when it comes to Germany and Christianity, is that their total number is in decline. Hopes to see them vanish soon and make this country a better place are pies in the sky, but the evolution of this religion is at least a glimpse of hope at the horizon. 'Black' Metal -- plague or stench metal might be more appropriate -- is the genre these religious folks have invaded some time ago and it is just one further example for the herd mentality and their pathological tendency to do missionary. Christians want to be everywhere, want to take part in everything, want to have their share of the cake and all in the name of their totalitarian doctrine aka bible.

Yes, these folks are a pest. A stench one cannot get rid off and while writing these lines, Church Day is held in the town I live in. Some might say, "Show some tolerance, they are just Christians, they cannot help themselves." Yes, maybe I should, but to hear their crappy music from at least a kilometre away still in room volume is kind of annoying; especially as the same done by me, might get me a visit from the police. So, let me show some love towards them and rip this shitty piece of pretentious black metal or unblack metal into pieces.

Unbelievable but true, these religious fanatics had to invade the metal scene as well and even the black metal one did not get spared out. A genre whose stances on a certain issue makes the term 'unblack metal' look ridiculous and Wikipedia can clear matters up a bit:

Any attempt to lay out the ideology of a musical genre is bound to generalize to the extent that some traits are unfairly emphasized, while others are laid out which do not apply to all. Nonetheless, black metal is generally opposed to Christianity and supportive of individualism. Arguably, this is the only coherent sentiment among black metal artists.

(taken from the site on Black Metal)

It is an impossible oxymoron, unblack metal or Christian black metal, it is of a kind everyone with a sane mind could identify as absurd, but as usual, the Christians thought different and invaded the scene several decades ago; trying to spread their message and delivering water into the desert; maybe they are under the impression enough of it would make them change the environment and turn the tides to their advantage. Their success since and their impact on the scene are evidence enough that it is a waste of energy, but the persistence of these folks is somehow astounding and maybe even worth to be admired; they even try to convert Muslims to Christianity in Iraq and Afghanistan, ignoring the impact such has on those society, not to mentioned on the resistance fighters respectively the efforts to repacify these countries.

So, what do we have here? Agathothodion -- the similarity to the German symphonic black metal band is striking -- are from the US and consist of nothing more than one artist: W.S. Kan Guds Gjort is their second full-length album and it comes with two very long compositions (20:30 respectively 32:26 minutes) and from these facts already predictions on their quality can be made. Do they fail or is something of well crafted offered here? Is a Christian black metal band able to breach the barriers of mediocrity with tracks of this kind, to leave the burdening limitation behind and move towards new shores?

'Black' Metal/Ambient is the current description of the band, but it does not really cover the art, as there are some similarities or better said references to what is currently performed in the depressive/suicidal black metal genre. The concept of Agathothodion is as follows: write a hand full of motives and repeated them over excess. Such is the case here. Further appear vocals nearly from beginning to the end and as the listener is unable to understand anything of the lyrics, due to some form of distortion and reverb, the level of plainness and torment on the listener's ear is further increased. Bands of this particular style see above, seem to be under the impression to have the ability, aka found the (un-)Holy Grail, to compensate talent with some form of musical approach, which might grant them attention in no time. Such is not the case, even though braindead fan boys might confuse one or another other person otherwise. One has to acknowledge the atmosphere created by the band, even though the general approach overshadows any impact it might have on the listener. To be fair, good song-writing is something different and the lack of talent is apparent. To glue motives together, arrange them in a linear fashion and kill any catchy and dynamic facets, is an issue by no means limited to Agathothodion; depressive/suicidal black metal bands face the same problems.

The overall performance on this release is pretty low. Endless monotonous vocals, no interesting or fascinating riff-structures or segments, music of a quality common amongst one-man-bands; especially those of the black metal genre. Christians seem to be no exception from this, judging from this piece of art and why should they? Except for the lyrical content no clear reference to this ideology can be given, as such thing as a characteristic Christian facet in the metal scene cannot be found. Would they not advertise their religious believe, then one might mistake it for one of the legions of bedroom projects whose release flood the scene. Kan Guds Gjort is likely to create boredom and can hardly be listened to in one go, due to its overall blandness and the shallowness of the art.

As Christians love also play with numbers, the rating of 7+7+7 points is awarded...