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Grim indeed - 84%

chaossphere, November 26th, 2003

As much as this album seems to get panned in comparison to Mütiilation's older material, it stands up as a damn solid black metal album in it's own right. OK, so the atmosphere of old is entirely smothered by a relatively clear, sterile production - but in spite of that, you can still palpably sense M'yanech's drug-fueled hatred seething from every note. Overall this a lot faster and more intense than Vampires.. and Remains.., lashing out with a much more aggressive approach rather than the languid darkness they once conjured up. Reduced entirely to a drum-machine driven solo project, the new face of Mütiilation is one of intense hatred rather than melancholic madness.

After a deceptively clean, strummed-chord intro, "The Eggs Of Melancholy" smacks you over the head with an insane 5 minutes of high speed blackened chaos. It's followed by the slower, creeping riffage of "New False Prophet", which has since become something of an anthem. The chord progressions and clean-picked main riff in this song ooze complete lunacy, fitting well with the disturbing lyrical content (which is a lot more audible here than ever before). The rest of the tracks swing between the same high speed assault ("Curse My Funeral" and the title track being particularly vicious) and slower ones more reminiscent of the early demo material given a complete production overhaul ("The Hanged Priest" and "No Mercy For Humans", which is almost groovy). There's also an amusing interlude track, "A Dream", in which M'yancech croaks a spoken-word section over some acoustic guitars, sounding like a demented French narrator from some obscure horror movie.

Overall, this is a different Mütiilation, but still an extremely good one. The guitar playing especially is top-notch, with plenty of standout riffs, and it's probably the first album from this band that you can actually bang your head to. You even get some extremely silly booklet artwork, including M'yanech grimming out in a wheelchair and a fat topless nun amusing herself with a crucifix (albeit done in a much less glamorous manner than another, vastly inferior band has already used on a certain shirt)... I still can't figure out what half the other booklet pictures are meant to be, but I guess that's the intention. Just like the music itself, the pictures are obscure, bleak and somewhat disturbing - just the way it should be. Horns up!