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CRUSHING PROTO BLACK METAL ALBUM !!!!!!! - 100%

BlackenedSally, March 14th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2002, CD, Cogumelo Records (Limited edition, Reissue)

I got this CD after a lot of hesitation about the reviews saying it featured bad sound. The problem is, probably the vast majority of the reviewers do not own a proper stereo, and listen through portable speakers, boom boxes, mini-chains and the like. There is a reason why I never replaced my 2002 edition for the remaster; it just did not need to be remastered !!

The music is primitive, raw death/thrash with a lot of black metal elements, that would start to show up on records of bands that were directly influenced by them, like Mayhem and Darkthrone. This has got to be some of the first recordings to incorporate tremolo-picked guitars in the way they did it. The blasphemy level of the lyrics is unsurpassable, despite grammar and syntax, leaving a lot to be desired, but who cares about that really?! If only, it just adds to the plethora of raw imperfections that plague the whole record.

Drumming is bone-shattering in both execution and level in the mix; no need to engage my subwoofer with this CD. Yes, it is sloppy and does not keep perfect tempo all the time, but that actually works better than polished and perfect in this case. Provided you have good floorstander speakers it will not overpower anything else in the mix if you set it loud enough for guitars to sound at realistic levels. . It will just be loud and powerful.

The guitar work has kind of an opaque, crunchy tone, except during the delightfully mind bending, extra-loud, mega-trebley, numerous solos. The problem is most of the time the guitar is on the left channel, and there is a second guitar in the mix (on the right channel) that either sounds very low or kicks in properly but far and apart. Both were played by the same guitarist. Odd choice of mix or mistake ? The bass guitar is almost an afterthought, and merely follows the guitar lines. The vocals are unearthly gruffly and vicious.

The actual album is originally a mere 27' long, but it is padded out by 2 fantastic added bonus tracks with great sound from an ep or comp, not sure about that. Don't bother with the extra live tracks; they sound as if they were recorded with a handheld cassette walkman at a football-field distance.

ABSOLUTELY essential proto black metal for the initiated.