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i move my lips when i read the lyrics - 40%

Noktorn, April 19th, 2011

This is okay, I guess. Do people listen to this style of metal anymore? I mean, this is about as self-aware as black metal gets: the band isn't even using blast beats, shrieks, and dissonant tremolo riffs for the sound anymore- they're using them because those elements are what black metal is at this point. Frankly this is close to as industrialized as underground black metal can possibly be, but I guess the most surprising thing about it is that I've sort of come to accept the commodization of black metal so albums like this don't really offend me anymore.

The timelines aren't right, but in a blind listen I'd say that these guys had severely worn out their Avsky CDs. Same general ideas are at work: rewrite old Darkthrone in a modern black metal context with twice the involvement in songwriting and half the sense of surprise when a blast beat pops up. It's very rock-based- honestly a little too rock-based for my taste; whenever something reminds me of Watain it makes my balls ache- with lots of kind of plodding midtempo passages with overly bouncy one-two drumming and strummed riffs, but the band is smart enough to know that they have to at least pretend to throw in some real riffs and drums every once in a while to keep the tricks guessing. If the slower moments sound like Darkthrone, the faster moments just sound like black metal- mostly indistinguishable from any other black metal band.

Somrak is one of those black metal bands that doesn't really sound like anything but the genre itself. At this point in the genre's history, everyone knows how to make something that sounds like black metal, so the mediocre bands in the genre just tend to make music that's supposed to be a distillation (but is usually just a watering down) of black metal convention. Somrak plays all the right notes: the rockish moments are alternately punky and Absonus Noctis dissonant in inspiration, the vocals are croaky, and the riffs sound like just about anything on Wraith Productions (apart from when they lift a Mayhem riff here and there). There's no surprises on this disc. Not even one.

Black metal's pretty boring these days and albums like 'The Abhorred Blessings' aren't helping. I realize that it doesn't take much more than adequate production and monochromatic cover art to get a CD released these days, but I'm still kind of stunned that there's a market for stuff like this in this day and age.

Howls from the Devil !!! - 90%

Harsh, March 12th, 2008

A few years back I posted a review on the old webzine about this Slovenian horde when they did a split 7” with Oregon’s Aesthenia. I liked that chunk of vinyl so much I contacted the guitarist about an interview, which he granted. Times and tastes vary and websites disappear beneath the frothy waves of the internet sea so I lost track of these keepers of the flame.
Turns out DTR rose from the ashes of Vile Art...who released above mentioned split.

Let me just say first of all it’s the best money I’ve spent for anything Black Metal related in awhile. Still apparent are the Celtic Frost influences of early days, but the band has really come into its own. There’s a heavy thrash injection as well and vocalist J.D. croaks out some of the filthiest vile this side of Central Europe. The album alternates between mid-paced romps and blistering full-speed attacks fused with (albeit oppressive) melodic guitar breaks.

All bands probably hate comparisons, but as a fan myself sometimes I appreciate it so here I go. If I had to pinpoint some parallels, I’d say the Black Thrash of Horna morphed with the psychedelic tunings and vocals of Deathspell Omega. Not bad company to keep, I’d say.

This is doubtless some of the better BM to (dis)grace my speakers in awhile. Contact DTR for a copy.