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The three things that initially caught my interest when undertaking Nunfuckritual’s debut album In Bondage to the Serpent were the names Dan Lilker, Andreas Jonsson from Vinterland, and Atilla Csihar. I was quite anticipating this album to see what an American boy like Lilker could muster up with the Norwegian/Swedish contingent responsible for this purported trip into despair. It turns out the one thing keeping it from flying across my room is how boring it is with much of the music sounding too similar and without much variation. It actually sapped my energy from me.
The second track in I hear Atilla’s familiar guttural groaning and I’m slightly impressed, but let’s pretend for a minute this was the only track and I was reviewing a single. I’d be truly impressed for his vocal alone; sadly, this isn’t the case and the album suffers from some low-brow, uninspired music that moves along like a garage band attempting to channel the great dark spirits to fulfill some wayward destiny, real or imagined. By the third track, “Christotokos” I’m thoroughly bored and losing my attention span quickly. This is one of the most inane and rudimentary black metal tracks I’ve ever had this displeasure to hear, and I’ve heard too many to count. Still, I am a professional writer (or so I’d have you believe) and I give everything two chances. Upon venturing through this for the second arduous time I’m even less impressed than I was for the first 45-minutes and contemplating a return to the church.
I don’t know what the intended goal was with this record, but the end result here is one of total and complete lackadaisical quality. Each song on here follows the exact same pattern, a blueprint so sickeningly predictable and pale that I can’t understand why this was even attempted. To be honest, this resembles a bad atmospheric black metal band from the ‘cold winds of Kentucky’ that should turn in all of its instruments. Every slight-of-hand trick and bastardized nuance that could and has been implemented into the later era of black metal is evident and horrifically ‘serious’, driving home the insipidity even more than originally thought possible. This is nothing even worth hearing if you’re seeking out black metal of any quality above a “3” score. On top of this, the over-saturated bass makes Metallica’s Death Magnetic look like Master of Puppets, and we all know Fleming Rassmussen would never put his coveted name to anything that sardonic.
The complete disregard for transitional measures and the wanton droning of what is probably supposed to be ‘evil’ sounds throughout In Bondage… only comes off as derivative chastising of an audience thought to be too unknowledgeable to care or too lethargic to know how to care. Whatever manifesto these guys offer, it’s all pinpointed to one station: devoid, inane plasticity in the form of this outdated ‘necro’ sound. Give up the ghost, guys; it’s embarrassing at this point.
(Originally written for www.metalpsalter.com)