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why - 7%

Peyp, April 15th, 2017

Funny story, I took a break halfway through this album and listened to some LT Rhapsody, and when I came back to this album and noticed the comparison it made me want to cry.

While ACTUAL symphonic black metal bands with TALENTED musicians were creating real music and changing how metalheads thought of the genre (such as Emperor, Dimmu Borgir, Satyricon, Limbonic Art), at the same time some group of drunken loons calling themselves "Hermh" decided to pound away on a drum set and synthesizers while chanting or screaming slurred vocabulary into the microphone right next to them. And I swear to God, someone was on a kazoo as well, because if that's not what I hear during "The Hour of the Witching Dance" around the 1:29 mark, then this is the worst mixing I've ever heard. Or some of my brain cells have been killed off by listening to this abomination.

Oh right, and I think the guitar becomes audible every once in a while.

I wish I could over exaggerate how awful this album is, but I don't know how to bash it more than I already have. And no, I don't think any of the above was exaggeration; it really sounds like that. But I suppose I should start form the beginning.

The first thing that astounded me about this album was the intro. It's completely incoherent, and some guy's moaning of the whole thing, which I guess is supposed to be atmospherical, but can't even be compared to what bands like Batushka, Emperor, or Cult of Fire can do with their haunting chants. Also, the intro kind of felt... uplifting to me. I understood that they were trying to go for a spooky vibe, but I think if I took a clip from the parts of the intro that didn't include the godawful chants, and then lined it up with a shot of a sunny field or clouds in a blue sky on a sunny day, it would feel quite at home.

My biggest complaint came next. The moment I heard the song without any dumbass screaming or "singing" into it, I realized that it sounded so clean and so "NOT evil" that it feels like it came from the soundtrack of a terrible video game from one of those 90s consoles nobody remembers (think Atari Jaguar, 3DO, or CD-i). I guess in order to show how "trve kvlt" the band was, they just HAD to mix it to sound like shit. Unfortunately, it's not the GOOD shitty mixing that landmark albums attempt to obtain. Instead of being greeting with a wall of sound violating my eardrums, the album almost feels flowery, mostly because the guitar's riffs are way too basic to even slightly recall, and also because they are sometimes BARELY AUDIBLE. This album doesn't give the impact a black metal album should have. And I'm not going to let this slide because it's symphonic. Symphonic black metal tracks, even some of the most orchestra-overloaded ones, have more harshness than this. Even Dimmu Borgir's For All Tid sounds better than this; not a favorite album of mine, but the guitars are always audible and generally have an upfront position, and the synths don't attempt to drown everything else, all while still keeping a lo-fi quality. If For All Tid can successfully pull off what Taran tries to do, I don't see how I can possibly justify how shitty the mixing on this album is.

I've already alluded to how terrible the singing and screaming is. Let's just put it like this: the singing sounds like an old drunk with anxiety issues getting head while being tortured; and the screaming is just that, but in screaming form. Every once in a while, it also sounds like there's a woman being pleased while under a mind-control spell and motion sickness. She kind of fades in and out of every song, sort of like ".......aaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaa.......................aaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaa.........AAAAAAAAAA". I'm glad she doesn't exist in every song, but it'd be better if she just wasn't there. Or if all of the vocals just weren't there. Then I could listen to what sounds like the soundtrack to a mediocre 90s game, plus guitars (and believe me, even that would be an improvement).

Oh yes, the guitars. I've already ranted about how basic the riffs are, how pushed back behind every other sound they are, and just overall how forgettable the experience is. But I haven't mentioned that sometimes they're right up front and they BLARE right into your face, and in those times they sound completely AWFUL. They don't even sound like guitars! It's more like a kazoo, or a balloon losing all of the air inside of it, or a mix between a saxophone and a bumblebee. It's just UNBEARABLE.

I guess you could listen to it if you wanted a good laugh, because this is one of the stupidest albums I've heard, and it really can't be taken as anything else besides a joke. It's For All Tid, but by people with no talent, songwriting intellect, and experience with mixing and producing. Go listen to some other album, maybe a symphonic masterpiece like In the Nightside Eclipse. Hell, ANYTHING is a symphonic masterpiece compared to this pile of shit. I'm sorry for a review this scathing, but I see no way to defend this album, except ironically.

Favorite songs: First Knight of Nothingness, solely because it isn't metal and thus the overbearing synths are somewhat called for and guitar isn't mixed to sound like a kazoo or a balloon

Least favorite songs: Pretty much everything else, but standouts are Golden Sea and Rising Tears

absolutely fucking terrible - 5%

Napalm_Satan, July 12th, 2016

The stupid ambient intro to this thing tells you all you need to know about the album: it has really crappy and '90s sounding keyboards playing generic and unmemorable melodies. The intro, like the songs and the album in general, goes absolutely nowhere, and is merely more content to exist behind the wall of mouldy cardboard production. The vocals are hilariously goofy and tuneless, like if Attila had throat cancer, smoked 12 packs of cigarettes and was drunk. The clean singing is slurred and droning, and the rasps are weak as hell and are seemingly thrown into the songs at random intervals and don't appear to be saying anything meaningful. I think a woman sings on this album at some point too, and she sounds even worse than the Attila knockoff, warbling away like a fly buzzing around the soggy microphone they doubtless used to record this thing. The vocals are so shite overall that any sort of decent musical idea (like the acoustic guitar buried somewhere in the 3rd track) is pissed all over by the 'singing'.

Just listen to that first song. It endlessly undulates between shitty clean vocals, shitty screams, pointless keyboard flourishes and a disturbing lack of good riffs, or any audible riffs at all for that matter. The guitars are barely audible and seemingly chug for eternity or do nothing at all, because the music is more driven by what sounds like the lead guitar and a drum performance that boasts a really shitty excuse for blasting and lacks even the most basic of timekeeping skills. The songwriting is crap, the songs repeat themselves endlessly without developing any riffs, swelling or shrinking with time, or any sort of direction at all. Songs literally feel like they go on for eternity without any sort of structuring at all, and stop for no discernible reason other than because they got bored playing the same stuff over and over again, presumably. The production, as stated, buries the guitars and makes the keyboards too prominent. The whole album sounds like it is being played through a 1920's gramophone, likely to make it 'kvlt' or whatever. I think they were going for that sort of feel given the repetition - they looked at all the classic black metal bands and thought 'Hey! I can repeat myself for 10 minutes with shite production - let's make a black metal album!'

So, to sum up: a bunch of drunken retarded louts jamming in their shed somewhere in Poland - thy name is Taran.

Ughh...... my fucking ears! - 15%

raspberrysoda, July 12th, 2016

Before they became a decent symph black metal band, Hermh were a shitty atmospheric/gothic BM band. And don't let the label fool you. It barely has any gothic elements, and the black metal parts here suck pretty hard. So the album begins with some really decent keyboard (which is something very rare in this album), in which the lead singer starts mumbling something that sounds like "MY MY MY MY MY.... MY BLACK ASS!," and after the intro ends, the first song kicks in.

TL;DR: It sucks. Like most of this album

It begins with the lead singer screaming "AYYY!", which after it come the guitars which sounds like Windows XP error message sounds, pitchshifted farting, or just very poorly recorded chorused clean guitars. No kidding. The production here is so bad and uneven that it actually makes the album worse than it actually is- and it comes in shape by all the instruments of the album. Don't expect to hear any thumping bass lines, or the drums in some songs of the album. Instead, you get the cancerous and tasteless clean moaning by Bart, pretty good female choirs (which are more bearable than the male vocals), more fuzzy and pseudo-atmospheric riffs, and an atmosphere which immediately gives you the feeling of taking a walk in a dark Scandinavian forest in a snowstorm that got your body temperature lowered in about 20 degrees which caused hypothermia, and then death.

There are a few good moments in here, except for the pauses between the songs. Voyage of the Beauty Land has some good ideas, and Golden Sea could be actually pretty decent if the shitty male vocals wouldn't have ruined it. This situation is the same as in Rising Tears and Atmosphere of the Passing Years too. The rest of the songs here are bad, (Crying Crowns of Trees was later rerecorded and was made pretty good actually) all of the Blackness intros bring cancerous and are a major low point of the album, and The Hour of the Witching Dance has one of the most strange (the bad way) and obnoxious vocal/keyboard lines ever heard in black metal.

God dammit this album is awful. If you were mistaken that this is quality music because of the gothic BM label this has, don't play it. Your ears don't deserve it. This is one of the worst non-NSBM black metal releases I've ever heard, and if you ever listen to it most chances are that you'll think the same way. Avoid.