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Proof that old school does NOT equal good - 9%

HeilSathanas, April 21st, 2008

Personally, I'm a huge fan old of old school black metal, living in Norway I've had a huge opportunity to really get into the genre of black metal as a whole, explore some of its roots, and really experience the genre first hand. If you were to ask me who the most influential bands in the genre are, well, the answer is not too difficult. Bathory, Mayhem and other old school classics come to mind, after all they started the lo-fi harsh vocal fronted music that has come to be known as black metal. Ask many metalheads about influential black metal bands, and your bound to hear the name VON be brought up.

For me, VON have never stood out in any way whatsoever. First of all, their influence seems to be overblown completely, albums like the Bathory self titled and Deathcrush were out way before this demo, which despite many opinions, I believe holds no originality or special qualities. VON's music like a lot of black metal, is very simple, very. Now, normally simplicity is never an issue in black metal, take Transilvanian Hunger for example, each song does not have many riffs or changing sections, yet, the music is still very good and holds tons of atmosphere which makes it enjoyable, and that is really where VON fails, they don't suceed at making any kind of atmosphere with their music.

All of the songs found on Satanic Blood sound EXACTLY the same, they are near impossible to tell apart. Like I said, using only a few riffs per song is not normally an issue, but when every single riff on the whole demo sounds the same, then you have a problem. All of the songs drone on with no more than 1 or 2 identical sounding riff, this makes the songs amazingly boring and unmemorable. The whole album suceeds at being unmemorable or boring in just about every fashion really, the drumming patterns don't change at all, which also is not normally an issue but when you have one droning riff with one droning drum pattern in the background, the 2 don't exactly help each other out at making the song more interesting.

Bass is nowhere to be found, but it is black metal so the issue does not really matter. Vocally this album isn't very strong either, Goat's vocals are a very low growl, and although they may fit the droning music they are wholly uninteresting as well, only making the album stand out even less than it already can.

So what are we left with? A terribly boring, repetitive, and wholly uninteresting album that proves to be nothing but a time waster for those listening to it. VON in my opinion even fails at being original or even that influencial, unless you count the idiotic worship bands that have spawned as a result. Really, I don't even see the old school appeal to this, as Satanic Blood was released in 1992, black metal had already gotten a fine start before this atrocity came around. If you want to get this album, I suggest turning your attention to Beherit's Drawing Down the Moon instead, as it is a much, much, much, better album with some similar features.