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Black metal is like metal on a miniature scale: it has its peak periods, alternating with periods during which the scene appears to be stagnant, and critics proclaim the imminent death of the genre. In the late 1990s, black metal was moving ever further away from its stated principles, as bands either began to move towards the commercial banality of mainstream acts like Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir, or were desparately trying to incorporate elements that had before been absent from the genre (electronics, drum computers, etc.), with varying results.
Bleak, harsh, misanthropic black metal never really went out the door, though. It just went back underground, whence it came. In recent years, there has been an upsurge of exciting bands carrying the flickering torch of the black metal underground. Surprisingly, the focus of the scene appears to have shifted to the North-American continent, traditionally a stronghold for death metal but not a prolific producer of good black metal albums (it would be fascinating to investigate why death metal, which its comic book approach to death and gruesome matters, has more appeal to Americans than the much bleaker and minimalistic black metal). Amongst the best of the recent innovators we find San Francisco-based one-man projects Leviathan and Xasthur, as well as Krieg who raised some eyebrows by including a Velvet Underground cover on their recent The Black House album.
Another relatively new band hails from Canada and goes by the name of Lust. Like Leviathan and Xasthur, Lust is a one-man project led by a man that goes by the maniacal alias of Sabazios Diabolus. Whereas the aforementioned artists focus heavily on atmospherics, creating at times what sounds like ambient dreamscapes, Lust is an altogether different proposition, for which a single word serves to characterize it: chaos. Hardly ever before have this reviewer's ears been graced by a sound so completely demented, deranged, anarchic, threatening the listener like a primordial force conjured up through dark ritual from an era long forgotten, in which brutality and madness reigned supreme. While giving the free hand to chaos, the music is at the same time rooted strongly in the present, indicated by the inclusion of several clips from (religious) horror movies, which have a truly terrifying and disconcerting effect for a change.
Where the album will be problematic for any but the most ardent black metal adherents is in its portrayed philosophy, which indicates a strong affinity to Nazi mythology. The mythical (but very real) Castle Wewelsburg, Nazi UFO lore, Hollow Earth theories, and resurgent atavism are presented at full force, and those disinclined to step over such hurdles should best stay away as far as possible from this album. Luckily, this reviewer is able to approach such material armed with the knowledge found in author and scholar Nicolas Goodrick-Clarke's seminal tomes The Occult Roots of Nazism (New York University Press, 1985) and Black Sun (New York University Press, 2003), which goes a long way to dispel these and other beliefs held by the post-war Nazi movement. While it would be too easy to dismiss such opinions as pure nonsense (this belittles them, and rather they should be taken on in a more serious manner), it is hard to attach too much merit to anyone who thinks that Trevor Ravenscroft's Spear of Destiny is based on facts rather than fiction. Lust's adherence to the Aryan philosophy is underlined by the inclusion of a Spear of Longinus cover (Longinus was the Roman soldier who pierced the side of the crucified Christ, depicted here in the cover art as an Aryan warrior wearing a swastika armband).
That said, the music stands up on its own, and never fails to deliver the goods. Hardended black metal fans who like to make up their own minds and go the extra mile, and are into Ildjarn, Blasphemy, Beherit, or Black Witchery should do well to check this album out. Given its limited print run, it is destined to become somewhat of an underground classic with the potential to influence many future black metal bands who are currently pondering where the genre could go. It certainly illustrated that black metal is still alive and fresh, and will be a source of boundary-smashing ideas for years to come.
In dealing with the material and ideas presented here, it would be best to give some thought to the following quote, taken from Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedictus XVI:
Truth is not determined by a majority vote.
Originally posted at www.musiquemachine.com
Okay, I am most of the time skeptical towards noise stuff. Especially if it is given a black metal sensibility; I had few interesting experiences (not lacking the amusement) such as Antikriist or the more "refined" side of duh Brown Legions, but I realize when the battle ends. Lust, along with Katharsis (especially their demos), another well-esteemed act, are the cream of the chaotic crop. Lust is not mere noise, but an act that chose more freely executed songs, and they succeeded in most parts.
Lust is much more difficult to grip than Katharsis; the music is more heterogenous than in the biggest part of the black metal scene, bearing a wide influence from the musical current that I love so much, namely noise-rock. The noise-rock influence is obvious in the several interludes present on this album, like Oh Horror (with some electronically treated voices) or Genocide Bitch. About the music itself, it is really hard to describe: the drumming is very prominent, and it has very fast parts as well as slow parts galore (shining on Spear Of Destiny). Cymbals and snare drums are the most exhibited here. Sometimes, the drumming drops from the focus a little bit (such as in the slow part from Birth Of The Unconquerable One, where some inequal measures in the rhythm get distracting). A point that the band misses is the introduction (which is as crappy as a gang of goats feasting on McDonald's french fries) and the ending track, Nazi Occult Metal, with a single riff all over the place and a buttfuck speech about how cool and hardcore Nazis are, and Genocide Bitch, which is pointless to the bone.
The guitars have the casual black metal fuzz, and the riffs tend towards death metal (at least in intention, albeit not in execution), but there are present some great riffs, as found in Spear Of Destiny (that riff could be used very well by a Norma Evangelium Diaboli band). The doomier riffs need more work on them, while they are way too simple. The solos did not amaze me too much, although their prominence on a black metal work is something of a broken rule in the Tome Of Kvlt Principles; the leads can be found almost more often than the riff changes! The throwback of this characteristic is that the leads tend to be ridiculously similar (random chord bashing highly reminiscent of Brenoritvrezorkre or high wails).
The vocals are the most distinctive point. I refer to the high-pitched stuff, which blows away the biggest part of black metal acts of today, in both originality and intensity. It sounds very similar to an indian (or horde of indians?) screaming in order to make the enemies shit their pants. The growls are not that impressive, unfortunately.
Not a bad audition at all, but there are two major flaws: the reluctance of the guitar player, who alternates good moments with unbelievably low moments, and the ideas, or the lack of ideas, along with cliches, that turns this band into an undisputedly immature apparition in black metal.
As for albums that reach this album easily and even beat its standards of chaos (also leads ten times craftier and more varied):
Fushitsusha - The Caution Appears
Cows - Taint Pluribus Taint Unum, Effete & Impudent Snobs
Butthole Surfers - Psychic... Powerless... Another Man's Sac
Cryptopsy - Whisper Supremacy
I felt it pertinent to write a review of this album due to its absolutely essential content. Even if not to own, at the very least to listen to thoroughly. I believe this album desevres the score of 100 if for no other reason than the originality factor which it has in spades. I dare you to find an album that evokes the same feeling or has the same intensity as LUST's "Genesis of a Satanic Race". It stands in a catergory all its own and while you can maybe see influences it does more than follow its own agenda. I guess now I'll try and convey how much power this album has, try to make some sense of it, and to do it some justice.
This album was crafted by the lone mastermind Sabazios Diabolus which is quite a feat considering the complexity of it. It starts off with an intro of a preist chanting on the first track and as soon as it's over and the first song erupts, ( I feel erupt is the best word to describe the impact of the music hitting )and it is pure chaos. Not the psuedo chaos of shitty "mathcore" bands but true head spinning out of control rollercoaster ride through an insane asylum. The guitars start screaming deafening solos while the drums bash on the entire kit. Frequency assualt all over the map. The guitars are multi tracked in a way that has the main riff going in one direction and the solos going all over the place. The vocals, which will turn alot of people off I'm sure, are unlike any I've heard in extreme metal before. They sound like hysterical, high pitched, torment. But at times they go into death metal grunts and growls. The production is great in that it lets you hear all of which is going on so you don't miss out on any of the rhythm guitars while the solos are burning and blazing all over the place. The drums are thundering and thick sounding. The songs have so many changes in a short amount of time. They will go from full on blasting destruction, to a lurching, spiraling, atmospheric crawl. The structures of the songs make the overall presence of all album quite unsettleling. Inbetween each song is an interlude which vary from samples to short little guitar ditties which helps break up the assault and battery of the music. I really can't say enough about how different and refreshing an album this is. At the same time, it will terrorize you in its ferocity yet you still will be itching to put it on again and again. I could go on and on about the structure of the individual songs but I haven't the time to write and you probably don't have the time to read it.
Bottom line: this album takes the chaos of other Canadian acts ( Blasphemy, Revenge, Axis of Advance ) and moves into territory wholly individual and inovative. After addictive listening to "Genesis of a Satanic Race " the coherent structures of the songs will appear and the bedlam will become even more frightening. Highly recommended!