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Brutal! Vicious! Unrelenting! Dull! - 50%

brocashelm, March 2nd, 2009

Given my liking for extreme black & death metal, plus the fact that I really enjoyed their split album with Conqueror, I really wanted to love this album. Unfortunatley it's one of the more monotonous monuments to brutality that I've heard. Unlike Conqueror and Revenge who shock and impress with their extremity, here Black Witchery merely annoy. Poor production that buries the guitars and reduces the bass tones to repetitive mud doesn't help, but the endless "whack-whack-whack" snare drum driven tempos and dull songs don't help either.

I understand that some are blown away by this record's "extreme" nature, but it fails for me where any music must have some impact: passion and creativity. The band sound bored delivering these odes to blackness and blasphemy, which is never good for music of this sort. Using some dynamics (light & shade, loud & soft contrasts) would help a lot, but Black Witchery might interpret such ideas as diluting their pure nihilistic war metal values. Whatever. Also there is literally no variation between the songs whatsoever. I mean WHATSOEVER. I've tried listening to this album several times to try and find the nuance differences from track to track. I can swear I hear the same or at least very similar riffs being used from song to song to an almost humorous degree. In this sort of metal, variety is not the spice of life and I understand that. But I can't help but feel that a minimum of effort went into this album, at least partially becuase the band knew that as long they hit the correct trappings, their audience would accept the material without reservation. But I maintain that merely being extreme, even in a flavor of the month underground style like this, is never enough. Black Witchery have done better work than this, and I hope they'll do better in the future.

Bands like Angelcorpse, Axis Of Advance and Blasphemy have shown that maximum extremity metal can be done without creating homogenity. It would be cool if Black Witchery would adopt that stance as well.