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PanzerSNES: 16-bit Grimness - 0%

Cat III, July 21st, 2018

Sometimes artists are described as knowing the notes, but not the music, meaning they understand the structure of the art without grasping the essence (think the endless flicks that try to capture the terror of Alien by featuring a slimy monster killing people). Such artists have a leg up on this Burgûli character who knows not the notes, let alone the music.

Burgûli is the project of Lord Gothaur, a Spaniard who makes black metal of the bedroom variety, though from the sounds of it, a better descriptor would be bedridden black metal. That would go some ways to explaining the elderly wailing and lethargic drumming. In the right context, the vocals might be called unique, but given the incompetence of the other elements of The Pathway Is More Clear in Darkness, it's more likely to be clumsy imitation. The drumming of first track, “A Deal With the God of Past”, sounds like it was recorded after the Quaaludes kicked in. Mind you, there's a difference between playing slowly and failing at playing fast. The aforementioned track is an example of the latter, and is followed by “Through the Gorge” which by not relying on blast beats falls into the former category, making it less embarrassing, though still not good. By far the strangest thing is the guitars which, possibly by some quirk of production, sound like a broken Super Nintendo. Perhaps real guitars weren't even used (the Bandcamp page merely says Gothaur handles “all instruments”)—synthesizers are used in the final track, a boring “atmospheric” instrumental, though it sounds somewhat like actual guitars in the second track. Once you get past the odd timbre, there's nothing in the arrangements to grab you. Also, all three songs end abruptly.

Little information exists about Burgûli; not surprising considering he belongs to a niche with more bands than fans. For better or worse, his subsequent EP and album better resemble actual black metal. Yet, if someone were to give this one a perfect score I could understand—it's that weird. The press laughed at bands like Hellhammer and Beherit until years later when their music had ascended to the status of seminal. Maybe one day, I'll want to bury this review when The Pathway Is More Clear in Darkness is seen as a classic of some new Xasthur-cum-chiptunes subgenre. Maybe.