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OPENING WORDS: People need to stop reviewing Peccatum for what they THINK it should sound like, and start reviewing it for what Isahn INTENDED it to sound like. Too many people are putting Peccatum inside their Emperor box and giving it poor reviews just because they refuse to listen to it for what it is. Even worse, Peccatum is one of the very, very few bands out there that is trying something different and creative--just as the black metal community continues to shoot them down.
REVIEW: Peccatum's Amor Fati is a highly creative and stylized album that reminisces slightly from the Prometheus days, but pushes the musical limits a few steps further. Peccatum's Amor Fati is not brutal, or raw, but instead relies completely on strange (creative) songwriting and unique emotions. "No Title for a Cause", for instance, uses strange drum beats combined with Ihriel's melodic voice to create a mood unlike anything heard in other black metal / death metal albums. This album is simply a taste of unique moods and flavors that in the end, succeeds on almost every level.
Amor Fati has no blasting. It has no Satanic references. Instead it touches on the more philosophical side of Isahn, and simple blasting is replaced with more thought out drum beats that follow no patterns or molds.
Amor Fati is so unique in that it uses the same "instruments" that other bands do, but to create such a different mood. While other Black metal bands take you to a forest in Norway, Peccatum takes you somewhere else. It really cannot be explained. That says a lot, from a creative standpoint. Amor Fati is hard to pinpoint because it is so different and breaks so many rules.
On a negative note, Ihriel's voice is the weakest part of the album. While she does complete her role decently, she does not live up to the production qualities and musicianship of her husband.
FINAL WORDS: For those people who like raw, brutal black metal only, you probably will not like this album. The moods are not death metal--and this album is all about the emotions that strange songwriting can create. If you are a diehard Emperor fan, you must be able to disassociate Emperor from Peccatum if you are to appreciate it. On the other hand, if you are a fan of artistic music in addition to black metal, and enjoy creative songwriting that only few are capable of, then Peccatum is for you.
A strange disc this is. I bought this because I enjoyed Emperor – Prometheus and wanted to try one of Ihsahn’s side projects. Well, its weird, and that’s probably the best description for it, but its avant-garde so this is expected. Right away, the problem I have with this album is the vocals. Ihsahn sounds great; he uses his black metal shriek and his operatic vocals here. Ihriel, the second vocalist, is the problem. To be fair, there are several spots where she sounds fine, namely the start of the opening track and in A Game Divine? Her vibrato is god awful. Some people in the metal scene do opera vocals great (see Tarja of Nightwish), but others like Ihriel should stop before they start. When she holds notes, for example, it sounds very grating on the ears. It makes me want to say “Get the hook already!” when she does one of her wails. She doesn’t sound too bad singing the chorus to Murder, but then she screws it up by going into a ridiculous ‘singing’ section. Ihsahn was some weak moments here as well. The ‘chorus’ to No Title For a Cause has a really lame line where he squeaks out “One truth or many, if any.” It makes me cringe every time I hear it.
Besides the vocals, the music is somewhat decent. Keyboards are used a lot, and the intro to One Play, No Script is alright, as is the chorus to A Game Divine? The guitar solo in Murder is probably the highlight of the album. Maybe I am approaching this from the wrong point of view. Maybe I have to appreciate the weird shit in the first place to like this. It still feels like it’s trying to be weird for the sake of weirdness by throwing odd musical sections at the listener. Perhaps if you happen to enjoy weird music, you may be able to look past Ihriel’s vocals and enjoy this. What Ihsahn should have done for this side project of his is to team up with Tarja from Nightwish. At least her voice sounds pleasing to the ear.
Highs: The keyboards are ok
Lows: Ihriel needs to learn how to sing in a fashion that is pleasing to the ears.
Final Comment – Try to ignore Ihriel if you can, unless you are into random shrieking.
This album deserves 3 points; one point for every 10 seconds this did not cause me mental scaring. This pretends to be an avant garde adventure yet mysteriously travels nowhere. All three vocalists try to operatic in their approach yet sound nothing more than two-bit hacks. The female vocalist, Ihriel, sounds like a sirens nightmare. Then there is sad Lord Pz who pretty much boo hoos his way through the entire album. The only redeeimng quality could have been the fact that Ihsahn from Emperor is involved. Yet he has gone from being a black metal warrior into a psuedo-renassaince goth pussy.
To save you the trouble of spending the money that you slaved for or even wasting your time downloading this album let me describe to the utter shit that this album is.
The first track frankly desrcibes the album rather well: "One Play, No Script" I'll believe that. This song fucking goes nowhere and only makes me jump into the local river only to have my friends pull me out and tell me it's not worth it. This album is essentialy one schizophrenic moment to the next. It lacks cohesion, planning, and thought. This might make sense if you are a garage band but somehow in this little effort it might have actually paid off if they had sat down and said "What the hell are we gonna do?" I wish they had, it would saved the world from this piece of tripe.
Next up "No Title for a Cause" How about "This Song Sucks So Bad We Are Too Lazy to Think of a Goddamn Title" This song suffers the same reason as the first there is absolutely nothing.
The third track "Murder" which is exactly what I want to do to all the members of this band for making me want to blow my brains out. Here are the thrity seconds that made me think that this sad joke would go somewhere. There are thirty straight seconds that actually sounds like something worth listening to then Ihriel opens her fucking mouth belches out an offnote wail that felt like a slap in my face. At this point I just felt insulted. She is truly one of the worst vocalists I ever heard. Her ability to correctly sustain a note and pitch that sounds listenable is due more to luck than skill. She truly manages to fuck anything up. I have no proof but I feel like Ihshan got pussy-whipped into doing this for her. She has no talent whatsoever. I'm not shitting you. She was bad on the first album but in no time from that album to this one does she show any remarkable improvement. When I found out Emperor broke up and that Ihsahn was going to do this band full-time instead I now look at Ihrieal as some sort of black metal Yoko Ono. Maybe that is unfair but I cannot think of any other reason he would leave one of the best and talented bands in metal for this traveling circus. This sucks! It makes me want to lay face first in an icy fjord in the middle of fucking Norway.
At this point you pretty much get exactly what this albums is all about. There is no need to decribe the rest of the album. If you ever manage to get this album do not torture yourself by listening to this or your friends. Your enemies perhaps. If you find it in a bargain bin, it is still a waste of money. If you burn this album you just wasted a blank CD. If you literally burn this album you wasted a match or valuable lighter fluid. Just throw it as far away as possible or give to the US Army to torture Saddam Hussein. He'll talk. I don't know anything about WMD's but if you played this I'll say anything. Damn all of you for making my ears bleed. You wasted 44 minutes of my life. If I ate this CD I would crap crap. You have been warned.