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OK NEOCLASSICAL BM - 60%

BlackenedSally, May 15th, 2018
Written based on this version: 2002, CD, Dark Hidden Productions (Limited edition, CD-R)

This is my first contact with the infamous NS ¨Southern Elite¨ BM hailing from Argentina, and what a surprise to find it is neoclassical-influenced.

The intro is a 4' and -to me- pointless acoustic chamber music piece, cellos and all, that gives way to a fierce half and hour of very low-fi BM in the vein of Ulver's ¨Nattens Madrigal¨, with a production just as bad as ¨Transilvanian Hunger¨, all and the forest vibe found in the latter. I am not saying the guy behind this CD, a young man by the name of Evigne, who plays all of the instruments and sings, has plagiarized any of those records. On the contrary, while not being original at all, the CD is very enjoyable and not generic.

The guitar tone is so jagged you might need a tetanus shot before listening to it; I mean it is incredibly trebly and saturated, burying everything else in the mix. whether this is intentional, which is highly likely, or a budget issue, it is a mystery. I am leaning towards intentional, because the one and only guitar is expertly panned across the sonic landscape.

I particularly enjoyed the -somewhat amateurish- but excellent vocals, low enough in the mix so as not to show their weaknesses, but audible enough to convey their throat-shredding sense of urgency and desperation, like a solitary wolf howling in pain and solitude.

Now bottom end on the first four octaves of the audio spectrum seem to be absent from the mix, that is until you pump up the bass with tone controls and an equalizer; exciting, incredibly well-played neoclassical basslines can be heard along with double kick drum rolls and a faint crash cymbal. Not all of the tracks exhibit this influence, but all of them are raw and in-your-face. On the final song the guitar is turned up way louder and starts soloing along with the rhythm section, and a loudly recorded thunderclap will make you jump from your couch, conveying the distinct impression of forces of music and nature conjugated. This is the absolute climax before the soloing guitar is left alone, slowing down in tempo and fading out to conclude the opus.

A must have? Hardly, but a nice sample of how this particular movement was like in Argentina at the turn of the century.