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how to ruin great music - 15%

SunGodPortal, December 8th, 2006

Let me begin by saying that I'm pretty familiar with both versions of this album and that this review is not so much to critique the music (which totally rules), more this particular release instead. I first heard "Goatlord," but after being curious about some of the tracks that were left off I downloaded the "Clamor" version. I listened to it for a while and then eventually decided that I wanted to go back to the slightly more crisp (although trebly) sound on "Goatload." The transition back never happened because once I got used to hearing it without vocals I couldn't stand this version. I never noticed it before, but the vocals seem like they are twice as loud as the music and they are terrible to boot. They sound like Fenriz vomiting all over a mic. Instead of the excellent music all I can pay attention to is the almost constant and distrorted "BARF" sound. I can't turn it up to hear the music better because then the vocals will shred my ears. The only time this doesn't make me want to puke all over myself is when the "female" vocals come in every so often. I love them because they are very strange, eerie and beautiful, but with a delightfully disturbing (not because of sheer volume, heh) undercurrent. While they are cool and unique, they are not enough to save this from it's single, fatal and tragic flaw. My guess is that they made the vocals too loud intentionally so that maybe people wouldn't give it a chance and would foolishly assume that the problem was with the "soulless, all tech, no heart, bullshit" prog metal thereby sabotaging the release, further distancing themselves from their very creative/musical past. That sounds like a conspiracy, but hey some people will believe anything so what the fuck... Bottom line is that they should have released it without the vocals. The fact that they added them makes it feel like a "cash-in" trying to pass as a normal album. IT'S A SIX YEAR-OLD REHEARSAL TAPE WITH OVERDUBS FOR FUCK'S SAKE!!! That's not an album, it's just cheap. Forget about this unless you are a Darkthrone fanatic and/or feel that you absolutely must supporting these filthy whores. Just get "Clamor" instead.