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Gestapo of Satan - 60%

Noctir, October 8th, 2012

Gestapo 666 is a French black metal band that was formed in 2000, by Meyna'ch of Mütiilation and Noktu of Celestia. Their first demo was released that same year, and features three songs. The music is fairly raw and primitive, but somehow fails to really live up to the expectations that one might have, considering the people involved. Still, it is by no means a bad release and is worth listening to, particularly for those that appreciate the old LLN recordings.

Musically, Gestapo of Satan sounds like something that came from the French scene of the early-to-mid '90s. From the songwriting to the mediocre level of musicianship that is on display, this is reminiscent of the early Mütiilation demos, to an extent. That said, none of the songs are anywhere near as memorable as tracks like “Under Ardailles Night” or “Suffer the Gestalt”. The first song, especially, is repetitive and boring, at times. Half the song is nothing more than Meyna'ch screaming the title, “Darkness and Satan”, countless times over a pretty boring riff. It is actually a rather disappointing and worthless song and also goes to show that his vocals are far below what they once were. “Gestapo of Satan” is much better, and probably the best track on here, with guitar melodies that actually possess some sort of melancholic feeling. It is rather fast-paced and possesses the same kind of chaotic feeling that was often present on recordings such as Satanist Styrken and Vampires of Black Imperial Blood. “Church Rape Division” maintains the dismal atmosphere, but is not consistent in doing so. Only the first riff carries the same kind of miserable feeling, followed by several disjointed ideas, but returning to end out the demo.

The production is really awful, hearkening back to the heyday of the Black Legions. It is still, easily, listenable, but it is often difficult to hear all that is going on. Sadly, the guitar melodies are very low and do not stand out all that well. The drumming is a bit louder, as if closer to the microphone. The vocals stand out on top of the rest, which is sort of necessary given that Meyna'ch is unable to do what he once could. This demo would have benefited from having the guitar higher in the mix, just to place more focus on the riffs.

In the end, Gestapo 666 is not exactly the most impressive thing that either musician has ever been involved with, though it certainly has its moments. It is clear that Meyna'ch's best days were behind him, at this point, and that he and Noktu did not put a great deal of time into writing and arranging this material. Gestapo of Satan is missing certain fundamental elements that one usually looks for; however it does possess is a level of sincerity that many other releases lack. If you are into the type of raw black metal associated with the LLN, give this a chance.

Written for http://ritesoftheblackmoon.tripod.com

Not good at all, not much effort here - 10%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, January 31st, 2007

Gestapo 666: to me, that really takes the biscuit for ridiculous names. Obviously these guys are straining to court attention and controversy as some sort of pretend-Nazi / Satanist followers. If they put out good or even halfway decent music, they might get a bit of what they want before the fickle media attention switches to another band with a silly name. But when they put out music like this headed "Gestapo of Satan", probably the most they'll get is a lot of guffaws or embarrassed silence. On hearing this short demo, I have the impression that Mutiilation singer Willy Roussel and friend Noktu might have something against some of their former fellow Black Legions bands (Roussel had been kicked out of the Black Legions in 1996 due to drug-related issues) as there is a song on this demo, "Gestapo of Satan", which sounds very much as though it's taken several riffs from the Vlad Tepes song "Drink the Poetry of the Celtic Disciple" and then through chaotic and frenzied scrabbling on guitar tried to mash them all, and by association Vlad Tepes, into the dust.

Of the other two songs here, "Darkness & Satan" seems a pedestrian piece with only a frantic middle section to liven up proceedings and get Roussel to sing something else other than "Darkness & Satan" all the time; there is a squeal in the middle section before the song goes back into its repetitive plod. The third song, "Church Rape Division" - now that should have been Gestapo 666's name but you can see from this and the other song titles that something is lacking in the creative ideas department - sounds a bit like Mutiilation in parts and Roussel puts in more of an effort here in his vocals with some genuine anger coming through and a bout of gurning and groaning towards the end. Most of the time though, he sings as if he's pretty much zoned out and isn't aware of what's happening around him.

When you come across a record like this, made by competent musicians like Noktu and Roussel, but featuring such apparently throwaway and possibly derivative music, you have to wonder what was going on in the guys' heads that they would go so far as to release it as a demo. If they wanted to be absolutely terrible, they could have produced something like a chaotic black metal version of the British noise band Whitehouse. I've heard other recordings where Roussel does better screaming and gagging than this. If they intended to upset people, they don't seem to have put in much effort to do something over-the-top and original. Possibly the whole thing is meant to be a joke which might explain Roussel's lacklustre performance, the target being slavish collectors who'll shell out loads of dosh to pick up anything even remotely related to the Black Legions regardless of how actually good or original it is.

Just as well this is a short recording at 10 minutes in length.