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have you ever been very, very angry - 51%

Noktorn, April 24th, 2010

This sounds like it was recorded at several different times; the production is wildly inconsistent in volume, mixing, and distortion, giving this more the feel of a compilation than a real full-length. I guess it doesn't matter with this style of underground, minimal black metal though; it's not as though Irae is very concerned with providing a particular atmosphere, advancing some ideological or philosophical idea, or doing much other than chainsawing through three-riff, four-chord songs like 'Deathcrush' ended on a looped groove. It's hardly for the sophisticated post-black metal fans among us.

In essence, everything about this is very regular. Raw, ripping guitar tone, screechy, misanthropic vocals, binary, not flawlessly timed drumming- you can practically hear the corpsepaint in the sound waves. Beyond this, the songs aren't really substantially more interesting: they loop through Norwegian and Swedish conventions, oldschool black metal without true blast beats or riffs past 1994, and a contentedness to just repeat what's been done a thousand times before by other artists. This is about as assembly-line as underground black metal can get, with contrasting uptempo and slower, more epic passages, silly arpeggiated melodies, and a substantial feeling of cantankerousness and frustration being the central mood. It's so very grumbly and discontent with modern black metal, you just have to hear it.

This isn't designed to appeal to anyone but completely dedicated raw black metal fans, which is fine because it certainly doesn't achieve any sort of widespread appreciation from the general metal scene. This is about as merely okay as something can be without descending into true mediocrity; it's listenable enough but there's no real reason to listen to it. Something tells me that the rest of Irae's material proceeds in a very similar way, so this will probably function as a handy description of their whole discography.