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Perfectly listenable. Good ambient tracks, too. - 64%

bimu, September 24th, 2006

How often do you hear a black metal album where the instrument that is recorded the best is the bass guitar? Well, "Banished Rhythmic Hate" is an example. This album is infamous for its production but it is not as horrible as it is said to be, I've heard much worse. It's not good by any means, but all the instruments can be heard, the overall tone is preserved and the riffs are decipherable. These riffs are ok, simplistic but far from horrible. The title track, for example, a mid-paced one, sports rather cool old school riffs. "Possessed (from Within)", on the other hand, is based on a riff that sounds like one of the riffs off "Deathcrush" (the song), but presented in a slightly retarded fashion. Killjoy's vocals are very high in the mix, sometimes extensively reverb-laden and they are rather good by black metal standards, sick and befitting the music.

This said, however, the album is rather pointless. It's not particularly good and it doesn't really sound old school. The production is bad, true, but not bad in the same way as, for example, Moonblood demos or Darkthrone albums. "Banished Rhythmic Hatred" sounds as it was meant to be underproduced but nobody involved knew how to, well, underproduce an album properly. I can think of at least two similar cases, Metallica's "St. Anger" and Ulver's "Nattens Madrigal", and as much as I like the latter (and hate the former), I never regarded it as an album with 'true' black metal production. They wanted to make it sound this way but ended up with a failed attempt at that sound. The case is similar here, the 'production' (it was probably recorded using a cheap tape recorder; if so, then it's just not enough to sound 'true') sounds forced and insincere (but don't ask me to point out exactly why).

But, next to black metal tracks we have the ambient ones and they are, surprise!, good to almost excellent. They're nothing really special but as far as mood pieces go, those tracks work very well. Not that they fit the black metal tracks here in any way...

All in all, it's not as bad as people make it out to be. By mainstream standards this is of course far below any expectations, but generally it's quite listenable. (And it doesn't matter to me that Phil Anselmo and Killjoy are involved in the band as I'm a fan of neither of them.)

I cannot really recommend this album but I cannot also say that it's worthless. Certainly you won't find anything appalling here. So, if you are curious or just want to hear some pretty good dark ambient (and don't mind mediocre black metal), you can check this one out, it won't hurt.