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Crippled by Bad Songwriting - 40%

violentrestitution, December 5th, 2011

This band brings nothing new to the table. I can't remember why or when I heard of this release and I don't know why I have it. It's just really standard. While standard is not necessarily a bad thing always, more of something good can be a nice result, however here it just comes off as bland and boring. I'm going to do this review based around individual tracks instead of as one coherent experience. Why? Simple. After I heard this the first time and reflected on what I had listened to, I could not recall a simple good thing or anything worth justifying my listening session. I really cant remember anything. You might think I have horrible memory or something, but no, it's not THAT bad. This album is just that boring. I'm sure the way this is intended to be interpreted is one big atmospherically depressive experience, but I just can't put myself up to the test to see if I can actually remember anything this time. I'll review this as I listen.

Track 1: Fragments of Solitude - the first introduction you get from this is a short little ambient piece and then, bam!, a splash of hazy melancholy that slowly drones on...and on...and on...and on. That's basically it. The riff isn't interesting, it isn't good, it isn't anything. Its just there. I could see the song being alright for 3 minutes, but after that it's just tedious. The vocals are generic and depressive black metal moans and croaks and they aren't a problem. They don't distract from the experience or really enhance the experience, but they also are just there. The bass provides decent enough work to give points to this track because it's kinda neat to listen to. Next

Track 2: The Drowning - a faster-paced song and a good change from the lame songwriting of the first track. Bass is inaudible and the drums do nothing special, just standard double bass. Once again the riff is uninspired and dull. There is not a lot of variation here as it plays it safe and sticks to the generic thrash/punk riffing. Did I mention the drums sound kinda synthetic? I don't know if it's a drum machine or not, but they sound bad. The song drones on for awhile and gets slower at about halfway through and that's it.

Track 3: Forever Dead Decrepit Soul - this track has a doomy vibe to it as booming bass creeps along in the background following the slow, piercing guitars. Pretty cool. The following riff is actually great, surprisingly. At this point I'm interested in the album and have hope. The production works in its favour here, the drums are alright, the atmosphere is good, and the bass does its job. Good song.

Track 4: Song of Dying - Following the same formula as previous tracks is another slow song. Nothing really exciting here as it's overly long and doesn't really do much in the time it takes to play the entire thing. Another uninspired song.

Track 5: Morbid Emotions - This song's mid-tempo and is mostly bass-driven which is better, but still not that interesting. Overly long at 12 minutes, it doesn't change much at all and is mostly just a very bland riff that doesn't go anywhere besides offering a quiet interlude of clean picking with "intimate" vocals (I say intimate because they're just about the only thing you hear) and I could hear him say "razor blades" which makes me look up the lyrics for this song...

Is this the life that I search
Is this the happiness that I found ...No!
Is this really the world of joy
Do I still belong here ...I wonder!
Living in never-ending night
Ever seemed daylight
Why I have to be here
In this sorrow and depression
With only friends ...razorblades
...have to kill myself
We all are so fucking futile
So you have join me
...Kill yourself
Is this the Death that I reach
Is this the expected and lovely end

Yeah, just as I thought, pretty bad. Next

Track 6: Buried and Forgotten - I'm getting kinda annoyed at this point as I just don't have any incentive to continue listening to this. It really isn't horrible, yet there's nothing necessarily wrong with anything. Its just...so boring...so very, very boring. Ahhh, lets see, what do we have here. A high-pitched tremolo riff that eventually takes off after 2 minutes into another slightly melodic tremolo riff that basically bounces that idea back and forth for a few minutes and goes into another one of those clean guitar parts with vocals. The tempo picks up and we get a halfway decent riff that goes on for the rest of the song until the slow outro. It's okay. At least it's something. Well, whatever. Next.

Track 7: Omnium Animalis Terminus - nearing the end of the album now thankfully, this starts off with nothing special as usual, then a different acoustic part that's alright. It moves along not really offering much and then ends. Ok, then

Finally track 8: Agony of Oppression - this one sounds a little more evil in an almost Transilvanian Hunger vein than the last 7 tracks. I'm happy to hear the bass plays a significant part in the song, but unfortunately I just can't grasp interest in the riffs here. The vocals get in the way and can distract from the music because they're so high-pitched and just have a total disregard for anything but himself.

Really, I can't recommend this to anyone. Okay, maybe fans of depressive black metal who want every release out there but this really is a snoozefest for me. I'll give it some points for the good production, track 3, and half of the song Buried and Forgotten, but there's not much else I can give. This could have been so much better, but unfortunately it's just badly written.

Pass on this one.