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This album could have been good. Very good. But it’s not, and you know why? The production is HORRIBLE. No, Moonblood aren’t ever going to be cited as a band with great production. Yes, all of the bands in Les Legions Noires have horrible production and I’ve heard them all. Anything Belketre, Vlad Tepes, even Brenoritvrezorkre ever created is MILES ahead of this album in terms of production. The only thing I can think of that even comes close to having such shitty production as this would be Sort Vokter’s highly overrated ‘Folkloric Necro Metal,’ but my reasons for hating that album are completely different.
Having some experience with home recording myself, I shall attempt to explain a few of the reasons (besides the obvious fact that they wanted it to sound like this) ‘The Evil Rules’ sounds so horrible. 1) When most bands record, they set up their system so that their microphones get as much sound as possible without overdriving them, creating distortion in the signal. When Moonblood recorded this album, they cranked the amps up to 11 and shoved the microphones half an inch from the grill. This is what makes it so loud, raw, and garbled. 2) Once they recorded the wall of distortion we now know as the “songs“, they mixed it together in such a way nothing stands out. You can’t tell if he is blasting away on the drums or just sitting there while the wall of guitar noise blares in your face. And yes, it is noise. I’ve listened to this album quite a few times and I still have trouble telling the riffs apart. 3) The overall volume of the songs isn’t even the same. Some songs are so loud you have to turn it down, but when it gets to the next song you have to crank it up again. And finally…. 4) It’s on tape. Need I say more? And it sounds like the tape was left outside in the sun for three weeks. Overexposed and sunburned.
However, if you listen very hard to the noise coming out of your speakers, you will notice that there is actual music on this cassette (or, more likely, mp3, seeing the rarity of this release). The songs are very much in the Moonblood style; Epic, medieval, and primitive. The most memorable part of this release would have to be during the song “Triangle of Infernal Power”, when the song breaks, the wind blows, and the most evil sounding voice I have ever heard comes in. This literally frightened me the first time I heard it. But you can’t really hear anything else specifically on this album. The production just makes it too bad to listen to. And that really is a shame, seeing as everything following this release is great.
In conclusion, go listen to ‘The Winter Falls Over the Land.’ It has horrible production (which is still infinitely better than this), and is only half as long, but is one of the greatest black metal albums I have heard. This just sounds like a sack of pennies being hit against a door.