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What the fuck is the point of this shit - 34%

Noktorn, March 26th, 2009

Lately I've developed an incredibly ire for mediocre black metal releases which somehow manage to stumble into record deals. It might be immature of me, but nothing at this moment pisses me off more than knowing that there's an incredible wellspring of brilliant, unknown black metal out there, but Moontower, fucking MOONTOWER, managed to get a pro CD deal. It's not that Moontower is a unique and interesting band, or that they're good at the conventional style of black metal, or even that their music simply isn't to my taste; it's just completely, inexcusably, OBJECTIVELY mediocre, and I can't possibly comprehend the sort of label that listens to this and chomps at the bit to get it out into the public. Maybe if this was on some 100 limited CDr I wouldn't be quite so angry, but this is an actual pro-printed CD, and the very mechanics of this being sent to print boggles my fucking mind.

Now admittedly, there's things worse than the first four tracks; they're very mediocre and generic melodic-pretending-to-be-raw black metal, but they're generally inoffensive. Moontower plays a relentlessly typical variety of this style of music, with buzzing and trite tremolo patterns being laboriously sawed out over blast-oriented drumming and bland, screechy vocals. The production is poor and the songwriting is only mildly interesting at best, and the title track, a clumsy but nonetheless evocative solo guitar piece, is actually the best material on the disc. So far this music isn't TOO bad; certainly nothing worthy of note by anyone in the black metal scene, but surely not the most offensive thing I've run across in my years listening to and reviewing music.

But then the second half shows up and my god does the band manage to utterly shit the bed. The listener is 'treated' to two shitty, meaningless ambient tracks, a rerecording of an old song that I can't imagine is in anyway an improvement on the original unless the earlier version actually fucks your wife and tells your friends about it, and a miserably clumsy and lifeless cover of the already fairly clumsy 'Ancient Queen' by Emperor. Think for a moment: have any of those musical ideas- rerecordings of old tracks, covers, or droning ambient songs- been actually pleasing to you more than five times in all the music you've ever heard? Is a cover track of a band who's been covered to death necessary? Are two awful (even for black metal bands doing ambient) intro/outro tracks necessary? Is a godawful and awkward rerecording of a song that no one cared about in the first place necessary?

No, this isn't the worst thing I've ever heard, but it does manage to piss me off more than just about any other mediocre black metal out there. The idea that there could be people who thought re-releasing this material at any point never ceases to amaze me. Please, for your sake and for the sake of the black metal scene at large, don't buy this; it'll only encourage them.