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The USBM scene is infamous for quite bad black metal. This is true, basically because a lot of people in their late teens early twenties make myspace BM bands. More often that not, these people cannot play their instruments very well, if it all, to make matters worse, they often are very poor musicians who couldn't write a good riff to save a life. When you mix these two elements together you get very bad black metal. This has attached a rather negative stigma to the USBM scene. A lot of people will make vast sweeping statements like "USBM sucks". However, there are some real good bands out there, with some real talent, such as Profantica and Weakling.
This album sounds like suicidal BM, ala Xasthur. Not the grim, cult Norwegian black metal scene. So don't be expecting an album which sounds like Tsjuder or Lja. The riffs in this album are pretty good and offer a lot of variety. They would have to be, after all the songs on this album average 17 and a half minutes. Despite the songs, length, they will not get boring.
The solos on this album are fucking ear orgasms. Take the solo on the first song for instance "Cut Their Grain & Place Fire Therein". There is a long, slow, epic and skilful and epic solo on that song. If you don't like metal, you'll probably think it sounds like a cat being strangled, but if you are a fan of the metal scene, you'll no doubt be able to appreciate the talent which is involved in pulling off a solo like that.
This guy is a great musician and can put together some pretty cool and interesting riffs. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for his vocal performance. He's basically just yelling in a high pitched voice. Apparently, this guy wanted some one else to do the vocals because he "knew he sucked", however there was no one else around to perform them so he ended up having to do it. The vocals do suit the image of the music, which is that of despair but, hey they could have been done better. I thought he was going to be like the guy from Melancolia, start off in that high pitched scream and then go into black metal vocals, but he didn't. The vocals are the only weak point of the music.
The production is raw, so if you like raw production in your black metal then you'll no doubt enjoy this. The raw production adds to the overall, depressive, brooding atmosphere this guy has got going. It certainly wouldn't have been a smart decision to go with the clean, clear production because the music would have lost some of its appeal. In short, the raw production suits the music being played here.
The songs as mentioned above, are extremely long, it’s longer than Opeth's Morningrise by about 11 minutes. So don't expect this to be a quick listen. I would also suggest you spend a fair bit of time with this album. As while the songs are good, you can start to appreciate the songs more when you start to know them better. This album is a must if you are a fan of long songs (like I am).
This guy had amazing talent. It's a real shame he decided to cancel the project after this release for whatever reason. All this guy would need to do is find a decent vocalist and he would have had one of the best bands to come out of the US. Some people even like his vocals surprisingly, so don't think the vocals ruin this album completely. You do get over them in the end. This album is a must have if you are a fan of suicidal BM.
Conclusion: The above is recommended for download or purchase.