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Tales of Desecration - 25%

Noctir, April 11th, 2009

In 1992, Angelcunt (Tales of Desecration) was spewed forth by Finland's Archgoat. The overall sound is quite similar to old Beherit, and it shares the aforementioned band's influences, to an extent, owing much more to the Brazilian Black/Death scene of the mid to late 80s; bands such as Sarcofago, Sepultura, Vulcano and Holocausto as opposed to Venom or Bathory.

Musically, some may get the sense that there is an influence from Death, yet this is Finnish Black Metal. Despite the vocals being a bit deeper than those utilized by many of their contemporaries, the atmosphere is dark and occult. The fast, grinding parts aren't expecially interesting; however, it is during the slower, doom-filled sections where the band seems to shine. The intro is neither good nor bad, rather it is simply there. The opener, "Rise of the Black Moon", sets the pace for the entire release, which is quite brief. As the E.P. continues, "Death and Necromancy" sticks to this formula, while also incorporating a nice guitar solo. At just over three minutes, this is actually the longest song on here.

"Soulflay" begins with a very good doom riff, though the song quickly returns to the fast and generic-sounding riffs that are found all over. There is a short section that includes some sort of organ, but it passes far too quickly. "Black Messiah" carries on with more mediocre riffs, with ephemeral slow parts, almost similar to Immolation. The music isn't bad. It's just kind of there. It could have been quite a bit better, had they put forth the time and energy to really work on the songs. The only feeling of any kind is during the slow riffs. The fast riffs are pointless and bereft of any evil feeling. It is as if the guitars are there only to make background noise for the vocals to bark out over. This is where the Death Metal influence is most prevalent. Both "Jesus Spawn" and the outro are entirely pointless. This brief E.P. would have served the band better by being even shorter. This is vastly inferior to the output from other Finnish bands, such as Beherit or Impaled Nazarene. Once you have heard "Rise of the Black Moon", you have heard enough to get the general idea behind Archgoat.

Short, but Sweet - 83%

The_Evil_Hat, September 19th, 2008

When you first get this EP, the first thing you will notice is the length. It is incredibly short, clocking in at just below fourteen minutes. Out of that time, only twelve of those minutes are filled up with music. (The intro and outro are utterly pointless)

Most bands struggle create variation. Quite a few black metal bands find their songs blending together after only the first few. This EP has no such problem. Most of the songs are quite similar to grind, in that they are very short and fast. The death influence is fairly prominent in the drumming as well as the vocals, as well as in the heaviness. Make no mistake; this EP is crushing at times. In each of the song there is a (for lack of a better word,) hook of sorts. Don�t worry, they aren�t catchy. Catchy stopped and died a few miles away from this putrid corpse. The hooks are usually in the middle of the song, and each hook completely makes up the song. The hooks are all different, and after only a listen or two you will be able to tell the songs apart from each other easily. Most of the hooks consist of mid paced palm muted chords, seemingly closer to brutal death metal than black metal. These hooks fit perfectly, however, and they make this album one to be remembered.

The bands sound is best described as (no matter how clich�) filthy. The vocals are guttural and unintelligible and the production is raw (but not to the point where you can�t make out the riffs). The riffs are brutal, and at all but a few parts pummel you into submission. At a few times during the EP, synths enter the picture. They are rare, but they sound good when they come. In addition, a funeral bell tolls during Rise of the Black Moon. Like the near breakdowns, the synths don�t seem like they should fit, yet they do perfectly.

The instruments all perform well here. The bass is audible, although it never does anything too special. The guitars are great and fun to listen to and the drums add a brick wall worth of heaviness.

The vocals are good, although nothing too special. For Black Metal, they are fairly unique. For death metal, they are a dime a dozen. Still, they fit the music and add a touch of filth to the whole affair. The lyrics are unintelligible, and if they could be deciphered would probably be the run of the mill satanic affair that is so common in black metal.

Overall, this is a great release. It packs a ridiculous amount of killer riffs and hooks, featuring more variety than most full length albums do. It never gets boring, both due to the variation and due to the incredibly short run time. The albums only flaw is that it�s over by the time you�re truly getting into it. If you can find this, I encourage you to pick it up.

To Fast To Enjoy - 46%

orionmetalhead, October 23rd, 2006

I listened to Archgoat's Angelcunt three times in a row before writng this review. I didnt have to listen more than once to know how I felt about it but the problem was as soon as I pressed play, the album was over. Yeah yeah, I know its an EP but Ive listened to EPs that had single songs that were longer than this whole album. Ive listened to EPs with half the tracks that played for longer. The whole EP is slightly over ten minutes long. That simply is not enough time for me to enjoy or get into an album. Its barely enough time to get something to drink while listening to the album.

Musicianship on this quickie is decent but far from virtuoso. Drumming is simple with nothing involved and the guitars and bass follow suit with simple riffs and uninteresting and bland transitions. There are a few solos in this mix somewhere and although they are short and cliche they are one of the few parts that work well in whatever setting Angelcunt is trying to create for us. Vocally... who cares? Another yelping, gutteral, black metal monstrosity ruins whatever the music could possibly have done to make this listenable. After a while the vocals just get tiresome.

In the song department, nothing really to say. They are too short to have any real impact and they all lack any identiy or memorability. A couple of synth parts do stand out since they are dispersed sporadically throughout the album and they sound good but out of place on such an un-epic release with such truncated songs. Compositionally there is no composition. Every song is much like every other song and in this case... thats not a good thing.

As far as replayability is concerned, if you put on this album in its entirety, you would think you just listened to one really long and bland song. Nothing here is really worth listening to twice with the exception of Death And Necromancy which has one or two interesting parts - not done any favors by the vocals and drums. The few short leads also help it stand out from previous tracks. This is also the longest song on the EP so maybe the fact that it actually song length helps it work.

Personally, almost half of all the other albums that exist are better than this so buy one of them instead of this. A sandwich or plate of pasta would also suffice. This just goes by too fast to enjoy.

True Servants of Darkness - 90%

SeveredMagus, April 14th, 2005

The best Black Metal EPs of all time are (in no certain order) - Beherit “Werewolf, Semen & Blood”, Mystifier “The Evil Ascension Returns”, Mayhem “Deathcrush”, Abhorer “Upheaval of Blasphemy”, Mortuary Drape “Into The Drape”, Samael “Medieval Prophecy”, Impaled Nazarene “Goat Perversion” and of course, Archgoat ‘Tales of Desecration”. (Honorable mention goes to the “recent” Impurity “Guests of The Infernal Pit” EP).

Every time I hear Tales of Desecration, I ask myself the same fucking question: “Why the hell did this AWESOME band not release a full length??” I mean no disrespect to other Finnish cults like Beherit and Impaled Nazarene, but Archgoat are in my humble opinion faaaar ahead of their Finnish brethren in the songwriting department. Listen to the song “Rise of the Black Moon” for a lesson in (superbly-arranged) affiliation to DARKNESS. What aura… absolutely simple, manic riffs, made cathartic by Ritual Butcherer’s unique guitar tone. (Does he really get that from an Ibanez?? I could’ve sworn it’s a Gibson!)

I’ve tried and I haven’t been able to find any flaws with this EP; this is non-trendy, non-conformist, sewage-dwelling Black Metal in every possible angle that one can think of. The production is almost perfect… perhaps the drums could’ve been a little more prominent in the mix but it’s not so absent that it takes away a single ounce of evil from the total assault. Vocals are, well… let’s just say that this lineage of vocals haven’t been heard since the nun-molesting, cult Canadian horde Blasphemy! (Not to mention the fact this EP was released when Norsk Arisk Moon Forest Dracula Vampire “Black” Metal vocals were hotter than shiiiiiiiittt!!)

Tales of Desecration is genuinely disturbing piece of work of that showcases Archgoat at their best. I am aware that this great band has made a return with a new EP after 13 years of silence… we can but hope that they will bless us with an album.