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Everywhere I go in the metal world, people keep talking about how amazing Von is and how influential they were and how I needed to listen to it post-haste. I told them I had better albums to listen to, but people kept telling me that I owed it to myself to listen to Von and that I should review them and that I should love them. I eventually did listen to their supposedly groundbreaking demo, Satanic Blood, with an analytical ear, and I can safely say that Von is a textbook case of hype over quality.
Where do I even begin with this shit? Well, I guess I could start with the time I first listened to them back when I was a teenager. Like all other teenagers, I was an idiot yet I thought I knew everything. I was downloading metal albums and lurking around the Metal Storm forums when I read talk about this band named Von and how great they were. I downloaded their demo Satanic Blood and I love their first track. (Again, I was a stupid teenager, so I didn't know any better.) A few minutes later, I realized, “Wait a minute. This is just the same shit repeated over and over.” I got so bored of it that I deleted and completely forgot about it until today. After listening to it with older and more experienced ears, my opinion remains the same. It still sucks goat semen.
Since this is a demo, the production is bound to suck, but good music can overshadow bad production. Unfortunately for Von, their music is bad. Very bad. Their biggest problem is with the songwriting. The same formula is repeated across all eight songs. The drums consist of incessant blast beats that get repetitive real fast, the riffs consist of simple power chords repeated over and over, and the vocals consist of simple shouts repeated over and over. This formula is repeated across all eight songs. I've listened to droning ambient bands that exhibited more variety than this.
The musicianship is no better. The drummer doesn't know much beyond blasting until his arms fall off. I wouldn't mind this if it weren't for the fact that the snare sounds like he's pounding on wet cardboard. This is made more annoying by the fact that this sound is present throughout the entire album. Sure, there are fills on this album, but they're about as rare as a leprechaun in a unicorn's asshole. I know this sounds cliché, but a retard banging around in a dumpster would make better percussion than this. The guitars are just like the drums. They repeat the same three or four power chords throughout each and every song. There are a few solos on here, but they too are simple and don't push the boundaries at all. The vocals consist of some sort of pitch-shifted growl, as if he couldn't perform a real growl. He never shuts up, and his performance is so unintentionally ridiculous it borders on being outright parodic. This is especially obvious on the last song, where shortly after the halfway point, he belts out a long series of grunts that make him sound like he's humping a cow.
While we're at it, let's talk about the lyrics. They're horrible. I know that metal lyrics are nothing more than shitty poetry, but the shittiness of the lyrics on this album is inexcusable. Don't believe me? Here are the lyrics to the song “Satanic Blood”.
Pray Satan, pray Satan, pray Satan...
Need to cut
Her own skin
Son of Satan
Need to cut
Her own skin
With a razor
Spells a word
Within the chest
A single word
Carved in deep
Through the skin
Bleeds the word
How can anyone think these lyrics are good? An eight-year-old could have come up with better lyrics than this. I can't even imagine anyone writing lyrics this bad on purpose.
Also, that claim about how influential they were? Complete bullshit. This demo was released in 1992, and the second wave of black metal was well underway by then. Hell, Mayhem's Deathcrush was released five years earlier, and that album is much more worthy of praise than this stupid ass demo. Not only that, but many other bands were already doing what they were doing and they were doing a much better job at it. Just look at Rator, who released their first demo, Evil Symphony, a full two years before Satanic Blood. Sure, the production on their demo totally ate balls, but the music was far better than anything Von could come up with. Nobody gave a flying fuck about Von until Varg Vikernes brought up their name in an interview. After that, metalheads thought, “Well, if Varg likes it, I should like it too.” I know metalheads are a dimwitted, impressionable lot, but this just takes the cake. Why are you taking metal recommendations from a racist piece of shit who killed his best friend in cold blood? This blind hero worship really annoys me. Why are you treating the word of an asshole musician as if it were the word of god? You people are as sheepish as the christians you mock.
In conclusion, Von sucks and you suck for liking them. This album is a badly written, badly produced, badly played piece of shit with an annoying as fuck snare sound, guitars that have less variety than a North Korean grocery store, lyrics so bad they would make William McGonagall blush, and vocals so ridiculous they could be mistaken as satire. It's dull, boring, tedious, repetitive, mind-numbingly idiotic, and I hate it with the white hot intensity of a million Hetfields on fire!