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OzzyApu, September 6th, 2009

Oh dear, not another one of these. The last decent EP was Bewitching The Pomerania, but I’d rather take any of their full-lengths over that one, too. I don’t know about this one, it’s a mixed bag. You get one song left off of Zos Kia Cultus, a couple covers (one by a washed-up band and the other by a really crappy band), and a host of live tracks. I’m here to review the US version, which pretty much means over half of this EP is stocked with live tracks. So ten tracks means, on paper, that this isn’t such a bad deal between albums.

The leftover song, “Conjuration Ov Sleep Daemons,” has Zos Kia Cultus production standards and plays out like most of the songs from that album. It would have been squashed between the longer and more epic tracks like “Here And Beyond” or the title track. The riffs are twisted, but the drums really knock up the psychotic urge. The Nine Inch Nails cover pisses me off because the vocals are incredibly annoying; they’re clean / electronically altered with really lame lyrics and arrangements that don’t work for a song like this. It sounds incredibly out of place for a death metal band to cover, though I guess it fits the theme of cyber-illusion and reality. Production for this and the more paced Venom cover are clear and somewhat equal to the Zos Kia Cultus production (maybe a drop lower in quality if specifics is your thing).

The live tracks are all from the same concert, and I’m astounded at how clear it is. It’s damn good: riffs are extra thick, drumming pummels through the thickness at equal par, and the bass can be heard grumbling between the two. Even Nergal’s vocals are fierce and barky – I can only assume that the fans are going bonkers. Solos are very buried under the music, but that’s hardly a problem to my ears when everything is so thick and unmerciful. The best comes from “Chant For Eskaton 2000” where the fans are begging for the song before Nergal blares the introduction and the riff starts building up like fucking crazy. Such an awesome song that would have been perfect if the lead wasn’t so screechy, but that’s just me complaining from my own room. If I was at the concert, I may have been irked only a little, since the rest of the song just slays and the setting is lively.

Would I buy this EP? Fuck no, but it’s a pretty funky deal for a download if you can look past the two cover songs. It’s more of a collector’s item nowadays, but it isn’t essential for regular fans. You could make do without more live tracks and an unreleased song, since there really isn’t anything holding this release together. Its fun while it lasts, but that means just one sitting. After that, it pretty much bites the dust.