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BBM split manages to rule and not suck! - 84%

caspian, August 1st, 2010

I downloaded this due to thinking that perhaps the Mirkwood on this was the Summoning dude- or alternatively a band that wants gay sex with Summoning dudes. Don't we all! Anyway, upon finding out that it was two random-ass one man bands from amurka and canadia expectations instantly fell. Perhaps it's just that I was expecting something really fecal, but count me as really surprised! This isn't bad and is, unbelievably, actually quite good.

The enigmatically named "Cynestole" starts things up with unashamed Burzum ripping off; the trebly as hell guitar tone, the minimalist probably-a-drum-machine (well programmed but), very burzum-esque and far closer to the real thing than stuff like Drudkh and so on; at least until one of the very nicely layered clean segments comes on. It's a pretty simple combination- Filosofem loving riff, bit of a clean section, then another riff coming in, often with the clean malarchy coming in over the top. I'm aware that this doesn't sound terribly good, but it works surprisingly well!

I think the thing that seperates Cynestole from a million other really crappy one man bands that love Varg is that there is a shitton of care put into the compositions- and the recording of said compositions. The songs ebb and flow in a way that keeps you entertained, and while there is heaps of clipping and stuff unlike most BBM bands, stuff is on time, well layered, in tune etc etc. This isn't a good thing, of course ("not sucking" is hardly reason to recommend a band), but it's another reason why this band surpassed (low) expectations. All in all, Cynestole deliver with a brilliant and surprisingly listenable mix of Burzum worship and vaguely Alcest-ish clean meanderings.

Mirkwood's style also shouldn't really work (I really loathe symphonic black) but it achieves it's goal- a nicely atmospheric few songs that I can put on when I play some JRPGs. I can't but feel, especially with certain synth parts in "The Broken Blade", that this dude really does love Final Fantasy and stuff, definitely comes through with his sorta happy and really fruity synth sections. He's no slouch though; and for the most part (let's pretend the intro to his side doesn't exist) he does a decent job programming the synths.

It's dynamic, vaguely inspiring in a +120 sword-doing-critical-hit type way, and rather cool. I like the guitar usage here- it's hardly the centrepiece but the tremelo picked guitars always sound good, always fit well, and in some cases really lift the songs to new heights; they really give the whole thing a nice soaring quality. If there's one criticism it's that the drums suck heaps; occaisonally out of time and always with crap tone; I wish the dude had live drums because that would be freakin' awesome.

Anywho, this split is actually rather nice, not what I expected at all. Cynestole do a competent and very enjoyable take on Burzum, and Mirkwood's mix of JRPG soundtracks and fruity symphoblack works brilliantly as well. Well worth getting!