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An enjoyable debut - 90%

Chadwicked, February 23rd, 2009

It seems harder and harder these days to find other individuals who share the same taste in black metal bands, especially when concerning black metal subgenres. As such, I have personally yet to meet anyone who has heard of Blood Red Fog, and that’s a shame.

Certainly this band does have a rather typical approach to depressive black metal with their debut album. The vocals shriek as would be expected and are rather incomprehensible, but the added use of a reverb/echo effect gives the vocals a very haunting and somber portrayal. At times the vocals represent anger and hatred, and at times they tear you down with such utter hopelessness and despair that you might find yourself on the verge of tears. Yet it’s the music of Blood Red Fog that really implores one to search their personal feelings.

There are no added sound effects on their debut album and even the instruments stay within the parameters of the typical band set-up (guitars, bass and drums), and their style is quite befitting for minimalists. The songs are long with repetitious riffs that trudge at a seemingly doom style pace with heavily distorted guitars that are at times sloppy. The production of the album is reminiscent of a basement demo or a live recording at some bacterial-infested bar, but it matches the style of the band and their approach to music very well. Even the drums match the scope of the depressive black metal genre with familiar, simple beats (including the blast-beating and fills) and at times stagger through tempo changes; however it’s quite nice to hear an actual drummer as opposed to a drum-machine. But Blood Red Fog also represents a grungy/jamming style not heard very often in black metal. It’s with this unique twist that Blood Red Fog dares to portray the depressive black metal genre as fun, reminding us that music is source of enjoyment.

Overall, their debut album is just that: a debut. It’s not perfect by any means and some listeners might find it bland, but there’s something to be said about Blood Red Fog’s style. Some songs are better than others, but almost every song has a climax that’s worth listening to. The first three tracks in my personal opinion are the best, encompassing both depressive black and a grungy/jamming style, and these songs are likely to be well received by most fans of depressive black metal. From there the album starts a downward spiral however as it explores more of a style for minimalists and doom metal fans; and the last track specifically stands out with sloppy guitar work and staggering tempos. But in the end the album seems to be revealing an emotional story as the tracks slowly switch gears through various styles of music; and it’s in this way that Blood Red Fog stands out. They are indeed worthy of a depressive black metal crown, but they’re willing to remind us that music is meant to reflect upon any emotion we may have and that music is an art form where we seek a sense of enjoyment.