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Exactly What is Wrong With Modern Black Metal - 35%

GrimSkin, October 16th, 2007

Soulless. Not in a good way.

This album is the paramount of precisely the sad garbage that is being passed for black metal these days. Here we have just about everything that disgusts me about circle jerk bands like this. Let's review:

Production: Ultra slick. Compressed to beat hell. No personality. Same generic Necromorbus boredom. Sounds like twenty other generic bands. Not quite the uberslickness of say Dimmu, but I doubt that there's much difference. Perhaps the guitars are a little less shimmery, and of course there are no synths, but still the sound is plastic and artificial.

Performance: Bored. You see, kids, there's well-rehearsed and then there's bored. I can't imagine that there's any fire in the guitarist or drummer. They seem like they'd rather be somewhere else. Hell, maybe? The vocalist at least has a little fire in him, but as much as he is touted as great, he's really quite generic. He does remind me of Dead, yes. That's been said so many times but I guess he really could sound like Dead or Jon Nodeveit's old style or any number of a dozen Swede black metal throats. I need to at least acknowledge the lyrics, as I do find them quite interesting if not transcendant.

Packaging: I mention this because this is exactly what will sell the album to would-be ex-Marylin Manson fans as it lurks on the shelves in Best Buy. The art is great. The pictures just remind me of Nifelheim...and that just annoys me. But, at least it makes me want to listen to "Devil's Force" again and remind myself of what a Swedish black metal album should be like. The cover will look great on the shirt that you'll wear to some shitty mainstream metal band and everyone will think you are "kvlt."

Bottom Line: If you want to listen to music like this, that which truly embraces death in all it's glory, I recommend the Myrkr MCD. Hopefully that band will never sign with N. E. D. or Southern Lord, so that their art may remain unique. I think I would be a lot angrier with this release if I had dropped money on it (I got it for free thanks to a distro screwup.)