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Sometimes I like my cheese blackened - 65%

doomknocker, December 3rd, 2008

To paraphrase the great John Chedsey, "I can see Black Metal PuristsĀ® cringing madly at this album." Hell, I can even see melodic black metal purists cringing at this. At first glance many can consider this a flimsy, derivative piece of over-the-toppery that outdoes CRADLE OF FILTH at their hokiest and most British (I know I did...), but if you look past the black velvet gloss and into the nitty-gritty of their musical exploits you'll find that it's not really a terrible disc at all. If nothing else, getting into the inner workings is like getting a vaccination; just shut up, grit your teeth, and let it happen.

"Infernal Satanic Verses" is NOT by ANY means a perfect or original album; instead, you get eight songs of well-versed, somewhat creative song-writing that combine moments of dark majesty with cringe-inducing hackneyeism. The riffs themselves are above average with tasty keyboard and guitar passages, but zip around and change tempos and time signatures with such haste that it almost gives you vertigo. More often than not the riffs move along with no real regard for arrangement or flow, giving the songs a feel of being a patchwork of ideas rather than real songs. At times they're dark and impurely evil, and other times they come off as happy and upbeat, far and away not at all the evil black metal the band presents themselves at in their lyrics, though cheesy and overblown as they are. The production can actually be taken into account here, as everything (save for most of the drumwork) is crisp and clear, giving you the ability to hear every instrument no matter how undermixed (prime examples include "The Devilstone", "Undestructable Power of Darkness" and "One with the Antichrist". Vocals are the standard reptilian rasps and growls common with black metal, interrupted temporarily by the operatic stylings of Sarah Jezebel Deva (OF ALL PEOPLE!) delivering said cheesy lyrics with only a fraction of the venom needed for musical Satanic blackness.

So at the end of the day, this isn't the greatest album ever, or even a GREAT album...this is merely decent enough for a listen here or there, and those times I did I found it good enough to keep.