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A little step backwards.. - 82%

nilgoun, December 18th, 2011

This record seems to be a perfect match on the first glimpse, as there are ten tracks with an average playing time of round about five minutes – just like their latest output Merkur. There should be enough room for every fancy idea this duo could have and still it seems to be unused. This doesn’t mean, that the tracks are bad at all, but they lack of innovation.

This could be tracked back to the fact, that The Old Chamber doesn’t want to be the second Merkur, and it shouldn’t be, since the duo wanted to play some oldschool black metal. They managed to do so, as the fundament of the tracks could remember you of some scandinavic black metal. That means, that there are dominating mid-tempo passages with some rock influenes and everything on the basis of quite simple riffs and solid drum beats. There are these gurgling vocals and so you could be remembered of the pure black metal passages of Enslaved, as there is this glimpse of progressivity.

The whole record is on a tighrope walk between monotonous, simple passages and breeze of Merkur - which the most of you might have anticipated – and therefore some progressivity. Sadly, this is just a mere reference to Merkur, as the songs aren’t nearly as complex and although there are some good basic approaches there is nothing which would cause you to listen intensively. There are, nevertheless, some highlights though, for instance some disharmonies, some thrash metal influences or the classical/acoustic interlude The Old Chamber. The production is somewhat raw but still powerful and well done so there is nothing to complain about.

Conclusion:

The Old Chamber could have been a really excellent record, if Merkur wouldn’t exist. It offers some good old black metal of the scandinavian school, but it lacks innovation. Merkur does exist and so there is this bitter aftertaste of regression. The tracks are well done and suite one another but due to this, there is some monotony that can’t really be balanced through the use of the disharmonies etc. The Old Chamber is a collection of great black metal songs, that are overshadowed by their latest record Merkur.

Originally written for http://threnodies.com