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Poor music written by retarded exhibitionists - 37%

Kraehe, April 8th, 2008

NSBM meets synth pop: one of music's stupider ideas. This band plays in a style similar to this and it does not work at all.

As a previous review mentioned, a major point of reference in this album is Emperor's debut and also their copycat bands such as Limbonic Art. The production is similar as is the heavy use of keyboards. The songs themselves are much less interestingly structured than Emperor, are much more bereft of the good tunes and are in general overly long. The vocals are okay, distorted in a style slightly reminiscent of Filosofem, but unlike Varg's original and feral delivery, they sound like the vocalist has a speech impediment: attempting to follow the lyrics is difficult at best. The lyrics themselves are even worse than usual for black metal, so warrant mentioning rather than the usual glossing over, especially as they have very pseudo-intellectual aspirations.

"Let all of the matured ultra feelings burn with bloody spew of the Gods' fire"

If you can't speak English, please refrain from doing so if you wish to maintain the illusion of intelligence to an audience who can!

The keyboard interlude In Arms of the Astral World is the most worthless track I've ever heard on a metal album. Its tedious 4 minutes of keyboard swishing sounds like a classical string orchestra elegy being sodomised by the Pet Shop Boys. It actually makes Vinterriket sound diverse and sophisticated. Nightsky is marginally better. It's longer but has slightly more material involved, yet it is still crippled by being childishly simplistic. The keyboard sounds very weak, either bleeping like 80s elecro pop or most often utilising a very cheap sounding "symphonic" drone in which the tunes desperately peddle through very slow and simplistic note progressions in an attempt to justify themselves through layers of pretension, but this fails. It's the kind of music that you don't need to know anything about keyboards or being able to play them to create. I wouldn't be surprised if the keyboard this band uses was played by two index fingers only. The all-round hamfistedness of the keys resembles Abyssos more than Emperor, but significantly less proficient. While I do not demand complexity all the time, it at least offers a chance to avoid total boredom. To utilise minimalism to maximum effect takes a rare talent which this band lacks on a massive scale.

Aside from the three mid-length keyboard tracks, there are three long metal tracks; all much the same length, averaging around 12 minutes each. As a result, the album has no sense of flow and each time a keyboard track arrives, it feels pedantically placed and never fails to disappoint with its mediocrity. The album's tediousness exacerbated by the metal tracks sounding much the same. The constant sugary keyboard tinkling does nothing to distinguish one track from another, and the effect is more to make every track sound far too similar. The vocals are especially awful, sounding reasonably solid at first, but halfway through the album become monotonous in the extreme. They aren't sufficiently expressive or dramatic to maintain interest. The riffs are rather tepid, while not massively repetitive, they aren't particularly interesting either. The long tracks would benefit from more flexible dynamics and good use of breaks (usually it is the opposite problem). Certainly the band has no need to feel committed to playing fast music, as this keyboard-fucked style is about as far from black metal roots as a band can get before considering turning to rap. The speed was adequate enough for the first long song, but renders the other two irrelevent both by them sounding very similar to the first, and also by them being even worse than it. Overall the perverse combination of high tempo and occasional blasting underlaid by the same old leisurely keyboard washes is musically disastrous.

Why a band would make the decision to produce music like this (presumably after some amount of consideration) is beyond me. The "cosmic raw keyboard-laden epic black metal" idea was an abortion from the start.