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The Unyielding Futility Of Human Existence - 80%

3EyedGoat, February 13th, 2008

This is further evidence that black metal has more than just a handful of talented artists here in the States. From unholy alliances of like-minded practitioners such as the HLP Army, to cloistered heretics like Leviathan and Sapthuran, USBM's power and influence is growing. It is to these elite ranks that I Shalt Become rightfully belongs. Not that I Shalt Become is new to the scene. A one-man black metal outfit from Illinois, S. Holliman has been releasing music, sometimes under a different band name, for years. I believe this CD, "In The Falling Snow," is a rerelease on the label, No Colours Records.

The album, as a whole, creates an almost hypnotic state in the listener. After a brief, moody intro, three tracks in a row all follow the same design: mournful melodies picked on a dark, buzzing guitar, dramatic monk-like chanting, and the evil croak of a malignant pariah. All stretched to nearly epic proportions. The fifth track, "All Alone And Dead," acts as a kind of segue to the rest of the CD, which consists of more absolutely bleak and forlorn songs. I found the album works best as a late-night affirmation of the unalterable and unyielding futility of human existence.