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Interesting... - 35%

TammyHammer, June 19th, 2013

On the cover we see a grim looking band logo, an album title in an old fashioned font and a blurry painting of soldiers with guns and a pile of bodies. This leads us to expect some bog-standard black metal, but this assumption turns out to be quite wrong.

After a few seconds of feedback (that you get when you plug your guitar in) you are bombarded with drum and bass. Not what i was expecting. Luckily, I love industrial black metal, so i didn't hit the stop button straight away. The guitar and bass land on top of this standard drum 'n' bass style beat, churning functional black metal riffage. It's not the best guitar sound, but ominous enough. Then some crazy broken electronics burst in. Almost like some circuit bent machine spazzing out. It's actually quite awesome, and reminds me of early Blacklodge.

Then all this experimentation stops, and a slow, very boring riff appears. The guitar and bass seem very out of time, and out of tune with each other, I can't make out if this is intentional or not. On a positive side, the vocals start here. They are standard black metal, nothing amazing, but not bad, Almost reminds me of a Marduk style. They plod along with this bad riff, and then... back into drum 'n' bass. The song jumps between the two modes with no real flow till it ends.

The title track of this EP starts with guitar and keys building an almost RPG videogame into ambience, then we hit some very bog standard black metal. The programmed drums are good enough, but with no fills.The guitar riffs are very basic, very simple. The chorus comes in with a shout of "Bludgeon" along with a cheesy keyboard hit. This track isn't great, but it's hard to call it bad. It just feels like a bands early attempt at black metal. They hit many of the requirements, but only just.

The rest of the EP carries on with the more experimental vibe. One track starts with a punchy EMB beat, and then some fairground style keys ruin it. I say fairground, but they are hit on the offbeat, making it sound like fairground ska or reggae... Quite bizarre. The vocals aren't so good on this track. Maybe recorded at an earlier time. They're barked out and gargled. There are some small female vocals behind the chorus, which suit nicely and save the song somewhat.

I kind of hoped that the female vocals had a larger part, and lo and behold, the final track is sung in all clean female vocals. The keys here are a bit cheesy, but the atmosphere is dark and ominous enough. Reminds me of Theatres Des Vampires a little. Then it all gets a bit strange again with an oom-cha beat and the guitars jumping in and out. This mid section is completely unnecessary and ruins the song. It finishes as it started with the chords held more for a larger effect, which works.

Over all, you can tell this is a band with split ideas on what kind of music to make. Black metal, industrial black metal, gothic metal. Instead of blending, they seem to jump from one to another. I would guess the members are quite young, as the music is in no way technical, although there are some nice odd timings in places.

I'll be fair with this EP. It isn't that good... but it does show promise of something very interesting in the future. I'm thinking to Aborym, who's demos were low quality black metal, and the first album which was a mixed bag of BM and industrial parts. They soon released "Fire Walk With Us", which is an undisputed industrial black metal classic. So although I'll probably never listen to this again, I might check out the bands later releases, just to see how they're progressing. They're one of the only industrial black metal bands I've heard of from the UK.

So overall this EP shows a lot of effort and potential, but there always seems to be something in every song that just doesn't fit and spoils the whole track. Hopefully these are merely growing pains of a young band with a lot of ideas and drive.