Northern Isolation


Sickness
10/01/2011, 3:27 PM
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , , , ,

So, all those records I said I was going to review this go around? I couldn’t find most of them. And on top of that, Metal Archives is all sorts of fucked up right now. And I have a cold. And its hockey season. Bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch. Anywho, here’s stuff.

Craft-Void

Country: Sweden (Dalecarlia)

Label: Carnal Records

Release: 8/5/2011

I feel very stupid for not having listened to this band earlier. I’ve heard nothing but glowing reviews of Craft, but was still too lazy to ever go and try to listen for myself. That is precisely what’s happening right now and I feel very very stupid. This is some of the most tremendous black metal I’ve heard in quite some time (oh look, it’s from Sweden). This record doesn’t rely on speed and musical anonymity, which is somewhat of a hallmark of good black metal in my eyes these days. There is a distinct pulse and a whole big heap of songwriting that went into the creation of “Void”. Thank god somebody is doing something right somewhere. Granted, the song “I Want to Commit Murder” has some pretty uncreative lyrics, but how bad can a Swedish guy screaming “I want to commit murder” over and over again really be?

5/5

Fyrnask-Bluostar

Country: Germany

Label: Temple of Torturous

Release: 9/19/2011

What is up with the cover? If it’s meant to provoke all kinds of strange thoughts, it succeeds in doing so. Does that guy have a beard coming out of his eyes? That sounds like a bummer. What would it be like to have a beard for eyes? It’s probably not even a beard. This album might have the most effective build-up intro in the history of black metal. The acoustic/electric guitar coupled with the electric guitar and sparse drumming really does build you up for the first actual song on the album that is a blasting force of undiluted pure extreme black metal. Fyrnask seems to love the shit out of multi-track layering, which they utilize to create something that contains all of the recognizable elements of black metal, but in a way that, much of time, is thoroughly unrecognizable. Maybe one of the most unique black metal records of the year and, for once, one that doesn’t suck tremendously.

5/5

Thulcandra-Under a Frozen Sun

Country: Germany (Munich, Bavaria)

Label: Napalm Records

Release: 9/30/2011

And here we go from one unique set of Germans to another very un-unique set of Germans. Have you ever heard “Storm of the Light’s Bane” or “The Somberlain”? Well, if the fact that the album artwork is done by the same guy didn’t give it away, Thulcandra have. And they were very fond of them. So fond, in fact, that they made their own band that just releases stuff that sounds exactly like Golden age Dissection. Is that a bad thing? Fuck no. Is that a smart thing? Who knows. I don’t personally foresee a Dissection clone-band becoming the very popular outside of Dissection fans, but hey, look at Pantera. Compare their fanbase to Exhorder’s. Stranger things have happened. This record also features a tremendous Unanimated cover. Thulcandra should just move to Sweden already.

4/5

Abomino Aetas-Undead

Country: Norway (Stavanger)

Label: Self-Released

Release: 9/25/2011

Bad synthesizer violins do not sound like violins. They never have sounded like violins, they never will sound like violins. So why do people keep trying to pull fast ones on us, the listening audience, by throwing in those weepy bullshit fake violins? They just make everything sound like “Daudi Baldrs” and we don’t want that now, do we? Abomino Aetas makes a combination of funeral doom and black metal, something that, on the surfaces, appears to cancel itself out. This album, in my opinion, has more of a dense martial industrial feel to it rather than funeral doom. It’s entirely too synth heavy. Now, synth heavy isn’t always a bad thing, far from it. But when the synths sound as shitty and fake as these synths do, it compromises the integrity of the entire project. I’m pretty I just heard something off the GarageBand “Nature” soundboard. Now, when the synths aren’t fucking things up, this record has a deep ominous feel to it, the kind of thing that makes walking through your house at night unnerving. But as soon as a mood begins to cultivate, Captain Casio returns to fuck everything up with his fake french horn sound. It’s a damn shame.

3/5

Amebix-Sonic Mass

Country: United Kingdom/USA (Isle of Skye, Scotland/Essex, England/Los Angeles, CA)

Label: Amebix Records

Release: 9/23/2011

This isn’t black metal, but I had to do it. The first new crop of new Amebix material since I’ve been alive. “Arise” changed my entire perception on the boundaries of punk and metal and where those two entities met. A big part of my personal stylistic development owes directly to the time I spent sitting in my room and listening to that record over and over again. So here I am, 6 years after I first started listening to Amebix, listening to the first new Amebix LP since “Monolith”. It’s…weird. Of course, now they have Roy Mayorga on drums who seems to primarily play in Nu-Metal bands (and Nausea). The percussive elements of old Amebix have changed drastically as a result of this personnel change. This album has breakdowns. Why does Amebix have breakdowns? The synthesizers have gotten better, to be honest, this is kind of terrible, on a number of levels. It’s almost trying to be more metal than previous elements, but it veers dramatically in the wrong fucking direction. Maybe one day, this release will grow on me, but for right now, it’s just making me more and more angry. I’m going to listen to go listen to the “Winter” 7″ and plot ways to murder Roy Mayorga.

1/5


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