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Inexplicable! - 73%

ghastlylugosi, April 12th, 2008

I am familiar with only this album by Russia's Blackdeath, so I can't guess if all their material sounds like this, but I can tell you that I've never heard anything like it before! Oh, I've heard the ultra-simplistic concepts before, as in Bathory's debut amongst others, but I've never heard it executed in quite such a fashion. This truly sounds like a home-made demo tape, the guitars seem to play the same riff repeatedly, the drums are barely noticeable, the bass is NOT noticeable, and the vocals croak on an on, seemingly heedless of the songs' rhythms...if, indeed, any rhythms exist! And, yet, there is a strange fascination about this album....

More details about the guitar sound: a fuzzed-out buzzing drone, akin to flies trapped inside your torture-helmet. The "riffs", as such, actually resemble nothing more than insects modulating their buzz between 2 or sometims 3 frequencies. What about those vocals? Well, the vocals are similar to Abbath (Immortal) at his most "Popeye"-sounding! There is no depth, no emotion, no variance. At few times, a growl or snarl can be heard.

The music, itself, has nothing memorable or novel to offer, other than it's unrelenting sound. There are no "spooky" interludes or sudden tempo-changing bridges or any structure of action at all. There is perhaps ONE song that changes into a bit of a recognizably thrash or stop-start section for a wee bit of "life". And, reading this, you may begin to see the appeal that this album can have for some...it is absolutely, numbingly mono-dimensional! It is something you can have playing that creates an atmosphere of sinister sickness, while you read esoteric books containing recipes for human flesh dishes. I think Blackdeath was striving for and definitely achieves such a sound/feeling....a sound represented by almost ANTI-sound, a feeling represented by ANTI-feeling. I'll be playing this from time to time when the mood suits, but it WON'T be to enjoy the songs and the performances; I will listen to it merely to create or complement a certain mood. And, though I don't really like this album, I will never forget it or mistake if for some other band, and in a way that is a commendable achievement!

Mention must be given to the excellent album cover, and pithy corpse photos on the back. The black and red theme of the cover, the antiseptic, empty hall depicted perfectly match the album's content. I'm sure many will whimper about "Nazi-sympathizers", but who cares what sissies whine about, anyway? THIS IS A METAL ALBUM!