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Hate. - 89%

Crick, May 14th, 2009

It is often brought to question what modern black metal lacks. Is it that it lacks real black metal riffing? Is it that it lacks anything new and refreshing? Is it that it lacks the raw hatred that black metal is capable of conveying? If any of these are problems with modern black metal, Alien Deviant Circus successfully escape all of them. This release is raw, industrialized, heavy and hateful. You could liken it to listening to the sounds of an underground alien training facility, to the sounds of cities being destroyed in war, and to empty caverns devoid of life.

Choosing to start off with an industrial style intro, ADC opt for streams of keyboard noise (it can't qualify as a melody, it's much more similar to feedback with a bit more emphasis on notes). Breaking their way through, industrial poundings of various samples distorted to hell and back provide interesting textures and rhythms that are the backbone of this band's music. It anchors things in place and at the same time forces the viewer to focus. As soon as the intro ends, the real black metal comes in - harsh, raw and mean. The production is done in a way so that all is audible and discernable, but beyond that very little else. The sound is full, airy and full of clangings and bangings. A set of minimal yet driving riffs trade off eachother as Azat's voice (also distorted beyond belief) rasps out indecipherable noises at the listener. This is music that doesn't give a fuck about your trouble listening to it, but rather wants you to obey and become enraptured by it.

Many of the songs here, while using the same ideas and elements as stated above, take them down completely different paths. "L.S.D. 666" is an example of the band's drug-influenced side. Three minutes of distorted keyboard feedback over electronic ambience and a marching set of industrial beats lull the listener into a false sense of security, only to have them pulled away in an instant and bombarded with raw black riffs over more destructive blastings. No organic drumming is found here - it isn't powerful enough for this type of music. As the song begins to feel as though the brutality is almost too much to bear, it gives way to a relaxed blackened stoner riff and mellows things out. Indeed, this album thrives off being crushing yet experimental and varied to the point of near-unpredictability. Don't take that the wrong way, this is nothing like Unexpect's schizophrenic approach to music, it is simply alien-like in composition.

Of course, a constant stream of this would be almost too much for most listeners to bear. As such, Azat and GRD have decided to be nice and break up the black metal with the odd ambient industrial interlude song. These are good in their own right as well, as they convey a seperate atmosphere of isolation and pitch-black darkness. You could compare it to wandering around in a cave and hearing sparse echoes of unsettling sound, or an unknown madman speaking to you over a hidden intercom system. But, as I've said, these songs are merely breaks in the constant stream of raw riffing and pounding industrial music.

The album even has room for "epics" that take the harsh noise of this release and meld them into more interesting compositions. For example, "Satan's Slut" utilizes a simplistic ascending riff over clean vocals layered with a large amount of reverb as to simulate a crowded street of people. "Jai Kaly Maa" opens with an indian woman singing and slowly introduces more menacing rhythms before (admittedly somewhat gratingly) bursting into angry black metal. It's just full of surprises all the way through!

All in all, Alien Deviant Circus are on to something great here. An all new take on an already destructive genre, this album is something that I could call a classic of industrial black metal. Much like Mayhem's "De Mysteriis...", this sounds very little like typical black metal but is, in its own way, a landmark in a particular style of music. Though there may be mistakes scattered sparsely across the hour and 11 or so minutes this spans, with repeated listens they are eventually something I've gotten used to. There are enough of them to warrant a few point reductions, but this can definitely be enjoyed by many - maybe not for all, but fans of industrial black metal fathers Mysticum should probably enjoy this. It takes the idea of black metal played in an incredibly harsh tone alongside machines to a whole new level. "Omegas" indeed!

Highlights: Nihil-Kaos, L.S.D. 666 (Open The Gate Ov Perception), Satan's Slut (Urban Manifest), Maledictionem, Jai Kaly Maa (Destroy Mantra), Vivit Et Non-Vivit