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premature ejaculation... - 70%

blood_countess, May 16th, 2005

Craft sound confused. While they obviously worship at the altar of Darkthrone (hold TP next to Transylvanian Hunger and you’ll see what I mean), they thrown in enough death/doom elements and cheesy guitar bits to perplex even the most open-minded of BM fans. One minute it’s full-speed-ahead old-school drone, the next it’s broken down gutter rawk. Not that there’s anything necessarily wrong with the balls-out treatment: but when said balls are withered and tiny, the attempt to be all things to all people ultimately fails to satisfy anyone at all.
Their first mistake was opening the album with “Ablaze”, actually the best song on the album and one which every subsequent song fails to surpass in both quality and focus. This is the only one out of Terror Propaganda’s eight songs where there is enough cohesion and drive between vocals, drums and guitars to achieve anything worthwhile. Too bad they blew their load so early: the rest of the album is one long, bumpy ride downhill.
On “The Silence Thereafter”, the band slows down for a bit of mid-tempo sludge. Nothing too awful here, other then the fact that the song is perpetually on the verge of going somewhere without ever actually arriving. This is also where the deathy/Sabbath riffs start to surface and dumb everything down between bursts of otherwise decent BM. “Reaktor 4” is just hopeless, beginning in slightly Burzumesque fashion before being corrupted by a lame pastiche of styles and equally lame lyrics: “you radiation of immense power/the wind will pass it” (what?). With “Hidden Under the Skin”, Craft take another stab at clean-cut BM, with acceptable results in spite of an ending that borrows heavily from Gorgoroth’s “Odeleggelse og Undergang”.
The four remaining songs continue in much the same hit-and-miss way. “False Orders Begone” has potential which is ultimately spoiled by the stupidly raunchy beginning; “NDP” is probably the second best song of the album, by virtue of the fact that it commits no grievous errors and has a decent amount of drive; “616” is a patchy bit of instrumental that fails to deliver; and the final title track is an ok-ish sendoff marred by a chest-thumping intro.
All in all, I was left with the impression that what Craft probably need to do is just reflect a little bit more on where they want to go and what they want to achieve. This album has many moments of promise despite its flaws, and if the band could use their influences as stepping-stones to something greater rather than as bolsters to mere mediocrity, they might develop their sound into something both unique and challenging. The current BM scene is full of great bands doing just that: with a little more effort, Craft could probably join their ranks.