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Howls from Syrian Bedroom - 45%

Fulgurius, February 13th, 2010

Blackspell is the first attempt in creating black metal in Syria, and "A Spell for Darkness..." is this one-man band's first full-length album after one demo and a split. The album was released on tape by Thorn Laceration Records, the tape consists of the two sides named "Hate" and "Darkness" respectively, and its total length clocks over 50 minutes.

The tape starts with an ambient intro, which is followed by the song "The Vengeance of the Sleeping Majesty" that actually shows us what we will hear at least throughout the whole side "Hate": raw minimalist 2-riffs black metal with annoying monotonous computer drums and screaming vocals that sound louder than everything else. The following three tracks aren't much different, I can just mention that "Dark Ways of the World" has some chaotic noisy solo, and "Lies Blocking Your Eyes" is a bit faster and more aggressive and the chorus, which consists in repeating song's title several times, makes it, probably, the most memorable piece on the whole album. The last track on the first side of the tape is better than the precedent ones, but it's the cover of Gorgoroth, and not Blackspell's own song.

Side "Darkness" surprisingly starts with some catchy riff in the beginning of "Rise the World of Dark", but then it turns back to normal, with the only difference that I can hear two parallel guitars. "Through Unholy Forest" is failed attempt to make something more atmospheric and more varied structure-wise, but "Transylvania", once again, has surprised me with some catchy riffs and, probably, it's the best song on the album in a sense of composition, if to exclude covers. The second half of side "Darkness", after the cover of Moonblood, consists mostly of ambient and experimental stuff, which is even more boring than side "Hate", there's nothing really remarkable here.

This album is surely not the worst thing that can be found in the black metal underground, and there are some good moments here and there, but generally there's nothing that would make me wanting to listen to it any more and nothing that would make this band different from thousands of others, save for geographical origin. If we will take a look at the bands from the other countries of the Middle East, like those from Iran, we will see that their works, despite often being poor musically, have some "special charm", which can't be found on "A Spell for Darkness..."