In Lingua Mortua - Salon Des Refuses (2010) The sophomore album from this experimental black metal super group is a must own. However you get your music, make sure not to pass this one up. This has to be one of the most interesting and cohesive black metals albums that I’ve heard in a very long time. There’s a little bit of everything in it. You might hear some sax on one track, weird claps in another, some keyboards on another, violins, piano, etcetera…but let’s not forget that this is still a black metal album at it’s core, and it doesn’t let you forget that. This riffs are interesting, and in some parts there’s a lot of prog, but it all works together. Black metal is getting stale, and it’s bands like this that are trying to freshen it back up. I’d like to hear more like this. It re-instills my faith in music.
OVERALL: ONE OF THE BEST OF 2010. GET IT!
ALSO TRY: IN LINGUA MORTUA (2007)
- Merkur (2009) - A rare little gem sees this black metal band actually
balancing well between beauty and brutality. Many of the songs are very
heavy, but they also have parts that are very light, and these parts
are done remarkably well. There is so much life in this album, and it
must be heard to be fully appreciated. There are some albums I come
across that a simple review cannot justify, and I truly mean that this
album is a must for anyone that likes black metal in general, but also
doesn’t mind when the music can drop (via Opeth) into a nice melodic
splendor, which is good for relaxing. In fact, I’m waiting for the
Klabautamann relaxation album. Been having trouble getting to sleep
OVERALL: BLACK METAL, AND RELAXATION MUSIC
ALSO TRY: AGALLOCH - THE MANTLE
- The Assembly Of Tyrants (2005) - Another Fear Factory knock off. This
was made in 2005, but it sounds like is was made in 1995. There’s a few
things going for this band, but not a whole lot - and they practically
rip off Fear factory’s formula, sans a few songs. Not worth the time.
OVERALL: SKIP IT
Aurea - Ascending In Triumph (2010) - Much more epic than the last
doom/death band I reviewed. Other than that, the formula is still the
same. The album is very long and boring, and there’s really not enough
of a difference that would make people who don’t like this kind of
metal, change their tune. On the other hand, if you like this kind of
stuff, you can’t go wrong with it. It’s just straight-forward death /
doom with female vocals here and there. It’s still not as good as the
last November’s Doom album, though. I must also mention that the Swallow
The Sun formula is being greatly ripped off by this band (and probably
OVERALL: NOTHING SPECTACULAR, UNLESS YOU LIKE
THE SAME RIFFS AND VOCALS USED BY SWALLOW THE SUN. BIG DEAL ABOUT THE
FEMALE VOCALS BY THE WAY, IT’S AN OVERUSED TREND NOW.
THIS: SWALLOW THE SUN - THE MOURNING NEVER CAME (2003), HOPE (2007),
NOVEMBER’S DOOM - THE PALE HAUNT DEPARTURE (2004), THE NOVELLA RESERVOIR
(2006), INTO NIGHT’S REQUIEM INFERNAL (2009)
Return To Earth -
Automata (2010) - Here’s a band to keep an eye on. What we’ve got here
is a band that mixes hard rock, heavy metal, industrial, and
experimental elements together, to create a what I would call “the
bastard child of Queens Of The Stone Age, and Dillinger Escape Plan”.
While this album is marketed for fans of Mike Patton, I see little
influence from him, and much more from the following two bands that I
have just named. In this day and age, where bands like to repeat
themselves, it’s good to find something fresh like this. Even though
their myspace has a rock/metal/screamo title, I would not consider them
screamo. Any sort of aggravated vocal in this band would be more towards
punk than anything else.
OVERALL: A GREAT BAND THAT GOT MARKETED WRONG. MAYBE NOT HEAVY AS HELL, BUT SOLID AND DIFFERENT.
ALSO TRY: DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN
- Black Jazz (2010) - Some have said that music is a form of art. So,
as art has it’s abstract pieces, then so must music. Some pieces, which I
would hardly classify as art or music, like “Diapsiquir” for example;
are so abstract that they run into the realms of ridiculousness, as if a
little one decided to draw all over the walls of your living room. This
album almost classifies along the same level. Many who have heard it,
have said that “it must be heard to be believed” with it’s absolutely
irregular take on black…can we even use the term metal here? It is true
that guitar riffs are used, but so is everything else. One of the songs
actually got me laughing with it’s “You fucked each other, you fucked
with your brother, you killed your mother!” being screamed for no
apparent reason. This album does have a really “unique” cover of King
Crimson’s “21st Century Schizoid Man” which also must be heard to be
believed. And yes…There’s jazz. Saxophones are used, but yet again…so is
everything else! (especially electronics)
OVERALL: FOR THE TRULY ADVENTUROUS, OR THE REALLY, REALLY, REALLY FUCKED UP.
ALSO TRY: SIGH- SCENARIO IV: DEAD DREAMS (1999), IMAGINARY SONISCAPE (2001), DHG - SUPERVILLIAN OUTCAST (2007)
- Kold (2009) - If you’re in the mood to sit back and chill, this album
will work for you. It’s supposed to be psychedelic black metal, but it
seems to just be sorrowful psychedelic / stoner metal. (Think Primordial
meets The Sword) It is interesting in some parts, and very long and
droning in others. Some of it I think I could understand better if I was
high. “World Void Of Souls” sounds like the soundtrack to a wild LSD
trip, and I guess if you just turn off the lights and “zone out”, you’d
probably trip out to it, regardless. I must admit that I always have
liked the kind of music that makes you take a trip without leaving your
OVERALL: WELL CRAFTED, BLEAK PSYCHEDELIC METAL. A MUST FOR FANS OF THE GENRE.
ALSO TRY: PRIMORDIAL - THE GATHERING WILDERNESS (2005), TO THE NAMELESS DEAD (2007)
- A Great Work Of Ages (2010) - When you leave one Cynic’s prog era
albums, and one of Entombed’s classic albums out in the sun too long,
you might come back and realize that you’ve got this album. It’s not a
bad album really, it just seems a bit muddy and outdated by today‘s
standards (which isn‘t necessarily a bad thing). A lot of people said
that they enjoyed this one, and I’m not saying that you won’t, I just
thought the production could be a little better. Be that as it may,
you’re still left with a good album, and it’ll warrant quite a few
plays, if not endless spins! The guitar playing is sharp, and the riffs
are interesting, the vocals sound like classic death metal vocals, and
the whole thing sounds like it could’ve been made quite some years ago,
in the heyday of death metal. If you’re looking for “classic death
metal” with real majesty, this is a must. For those who feel like metal
has been drowned in core, this is for you. Yes, I am talking to you
older metal heads out there. For you, this could be worth it’s weight in
OVERALL: NOT TO BE MISSED. LIKE MANY THINGS, THEY JUST DON’T MAKE THEM LIKE THIS ANYMORE!
Sour - Audio Secrecy (2010) - It is immediately apparent now that Stone
Sour is trying to be the more vulgar version of Nickelback. The only
thing which sets them apart from their right wing radio counterparts, is
the fact that Corey believes that the word “fuck” can be happily
inserted into love songs as well as hate songs. Personally, I thought
there were too many ballads and sing along choruses in this for my
taste, despite the progressive playing style on a few tracks and a few
good solos on the album. What really is kind of interesting about this
one though, is that the band seemingly gets heavy for no apparent reason
in a few of these mellow tracks, and Corey resorts to screaming and
hollering, and then it goes back into the same mellow tune. It’s almost
like if the Backstreet Boys were singing and all the sudden one of them
starts screaming “fuck you, mother fuckers” as if he had turrets
syndrome. Nonetheless, it’s catchy while being controversial, and that
translates to album sales. Still, there’s not much here that we haven’t
already heard. Save your money, unless your significant other or your
kid wants it.
OVERALL: SKIP IT, EVEN THOUGH (INSERT NAME OF CO-WORKER / FRIEND / EXC.) IS GOING TO TELL YOU THAT IT’S GREAT.
Divide - The Conscious Sedation (2010) - Here is a band that is trying
to one-up Lacuna Coil. Imagine if Whitechapel and Lacuna Coil got
together, and you’d have something like this. It’s brutal deathcore with
female vocals. (even though it‘s labeled “melodic death metal”) If the
female singer was not in the band, these guys would not be anything
special at all. Of course, we’ve heard this kind of thing already from a
band called Deadlock, and they do it just as well…probably better,
since the screamer in this band seems to be all over the fucking place.
It’s actually quite brainless, except for the parts when she sings. But
then, what’s the fucking point?
OVERALL: BRAINLESS DEATHCORE WITH
FEMALE VOCALS (AND LIGHTER MELODIES MADE ESPECIALLY FOR HER VOCALS)
I’VE HEARD IT BEFORE, AND SO HAVE YOU.
INSTEAD OF THIS: DEADLOCK - WOLVES (2005), MANIFESTO (2007)
- Obliteration Of The Weak EP (2010) - This death metal band didn’t do a
thing for me. I thought it was quite basic, and the only thing that was
good about them was the melody change in every song, and the solo in a
few of them. Other than that, it’s run of the mill death metal. Of
course, it’s just a EP - so you can’t say much. But I’m not sure I would
listen to a full album of this, even if it was free.
THIS: BLOODBATH - NIGHTMARES MADE FLESH, CRYPTIC VOICE - ACCESS DENIED,
IMPIOUS - HELLUCINATE, THE MONOLITH DEATHCULT - TRIUMVIRATE
- After The Storm (2010) - Don’t go thinking that this one is going to
be heavy, because it’s not. If you like Dead Can Dance, you’ll like it.
It’s a very neo-pagan-esque album. If you have no idea who Dead Can
Dance is, it’s new age music/gothic music. But, we actually still have
some metal songs thrown in here. Atrocity has been trying to figure out
who the hell they are for years now. This doesn’t suit them well either,
because only a few of it works, and it will turn metal fans off, unless
they actually have that guilty pleasure of liking groups like Dead Can
Dance, and other ethereal / goth artists. So, if you’re just trying to
find good metal - skip it. There’s only one really interesting riff -
solo thing in there, on a song called “Black Mountain”. You’re best off
just d/loading that track. Anyone who expected heavy Atrocity, is sorely
mistaken…even though I know that they still have that heaviness in
them. (The song “Reich Of Phenomenon” from 2005 “Atlantis” album is a
OVERALL: A METAL BAND PUTS OUT AN ALBUM THAT IS
SO DIFFERENT, THAT IT IS BARELY METAL AT ALL! THIS IS BECAUSE THEY STILL
HAVE NO CLUE WHO IN THE HELL THEY ARE! RECOMMENDED FOR PEOPLE WHO LIKE
DEAD CAN DANCE OR OTHER CHANT GROUPS…SERIOUSLY! WTF?
INSTEAD OF THIS: ATROCITY - ATLANTIS (2005) Not everything is great, but it’s heavier than this.
- Sitra Ahra (2010) - For those of you who have no idea who this band
is, I will enlighten you. Therion is a band that used to play death
metal, but now they play gothic metal and all kinds of other shit, with
choirs, and vocalists that range all gamuts. If you look on Amazon.com,
most of their albums have gotten five stars, and they are also a
worldwide phenomenon. Their music is largely based in paganism, and in
the occult order of the dragon rouge, which is based upon the works of
Swedish occult practitioner (and master magician) Tomas Karlsson. (they
have a website, google “dragon rouge” if you’re interested)
that I am a big fan of this band, I will try very hard not to take a
bias. Actually, some of the songs don’t seem to be as good this time
around as compared to their older album, but this album sees a return to
form for the band, with the return of the choirs that made them what
they were from Vovin (Dragon). I’ll also add that this album isn’t as
catchy as Gothic Kabbalah, but is instead a plethora of musical ideas,
which are vibrant and refreshing in a world of “same-sounding crap” .
The 8:51 “Kings Of Edom” jumps all over the place, but stays together.
It’s worth it just to listen to this track. The same with 10:51 “Land Of
Canaan” which is a masterpiece. All of the vocalists seem to do well,
except for one of them who has a very high voice, and completely
slaughters “2012”. The music which followed after his lines barely saved
the song. Also, “Kali Yuga III” which I had been waiting on greatly,
was not quite as good as the 2nd part, and it ended abruptly.
is however, many layers to this album, and it may require a few listens
to soak in. But, I don’t recommend this to fans of extreme metal,
because they won’t get it. Except there is one extreme song called “Din”
which reminded me a bit of black metal. Plus, you get choirs singing
over blast beats in it. (Who else does that?) Also, since it’s a first -
they got a children’s choir to sing in the final song, 7:22 “Children
Of The Stone: After The Inquisition” but this song is far from metal;
and I myself, don’t get it. Guess I’ll have to wait on the lyrics.
in all, this album sounds bombastic as hell, and there is so much going
on that you might think that it begins to lose it’s core. However, I
think that’s the point. It’s more of a full-on listening experience,
than just another metal album. Therion have indeed bridged the gap very
well between metal and non-metal in this album, and while I’d recommend
it to everyone…
It’s not for everyone.
Enough of that…NEXT REVIEW!
ONLY FOR THERION FANS, AND FANS OF GOTHIC METAL, EVEN THOUGH IT’S NOT
FULLY A METAL ALBUM. (90% of it is actually metal.)
Axioma Ethica Odini (2010) - Enslaved is becoming more and more the Pink
Floyd of black metal. And that’s certainly not a bad thing. Yet this
album sees them becoming much heavier than on Vertebrae, but still
keeping that same progressive essence which made Vertebrae the kind of
album that it was. There is much more catchiness on this album, and more
clean vocals as well. The riffs and solos are what you would expect
from Enslaved’s newer era, and they don’t disappoint. But, as
interesting as this album is, it can get a little monotonous in the
middle. Some songs just don’t work at all, and the instrumental in the
center of that album is really not needed. It’s more of an atmospheric
piece, and I think it’s overkill. The last song “Lightening” seems to go
a bit overboard, and I really think that some of these songs are much
longer than they needed to be. Nevertheless, there’s not another band
out there quite like them, and I am thankful to have not heard any
knock-offs. At least, not yet…
OVERALL: SOLID PROGRESSIVE BLACK
METAL, JUST A TAD TOO MUCH IN PLACES, AND SOMEWHAT(?) MONOTONOUS. THE
ENSLAVED WORSHIPPERS OUT THERE WILL DISAGREE WITH ME THOUGH.
Williams - In The Absence Of Light (2010) - If you like black metal at
all, and you’re not too uptight about it, I can’t see why you wouldn’t
like this. What used to sound like core, now sounds like traditional
black metal through and through. I have a feeling that many black metal
fans who have stayed away from this band because of their core roots,
will embrace this album. The melodies are scarce, but interesting, and
the solo work is top notch. The rest of the album is business as usual.
Eerie riffs and soundscapes and lots of double bass bashing. There are
some interesting parts here and there to break up the almost monotonous
sound, and the longest song on the album goes out with a great solo. The
production value is great, and the vocals are what you’d expect. If
you’ve heard their last album, be ready for a big change. This sounds
like it could’ve been made a long time ago, and I’m wondering why it
OVERALL: SOLID AMERICAN BLACK METAL WITH GOOD PRODUCTION, TRADITIONAL SOUND, AND GREAT GUITAR WORK IN AREAS. WORTH A LISTEN.
Of Plagues - White Tomb (2009) and Tides EP (2010) - First I’m going to
talk about Altar of Plagues a little. They are a black metal band from
Ireland, with some doom and acoustic passages, sort of like Agalloch.
Everything they’ve put out is awfully short, but it’s also awfully good.
The production isn’t great on some of the earlier releases, but what
you are getting in the long run is melodic and beautiful riffing, vocals
with strong emotion, and brilliant, almost ethereal passages.
I talk about White Tomb, I’m going to mention that it’s one of my
favorite albums of the gamut. Why? Because the production is solid, the
melodies are perfect, and the vocals - even though reminiscent of bands
like Wolves Of The Throne Room (Who are also very good) work well with
the whole mix. Black metal enthusiasts may not pick this up
automatically, because it is much more influenced by the slowness of
doom than it is black metal. But, black metal fans who appreciate doom
metal (and drone) will really love this stuff. The instrumental passages
of the tracks are absolutely mesmerizing, and without them, this album
would be just another black metal album. What makes this band so great
is it’s ability to mesh two great genres together so flawlessly. If you
don’t like fast to slow, to drone, (and there‘s a lot of drone in this
particular album) you won’t like this very much. Yet, it can be very
relaxing at times, and that’s not a bad thing in my book. The only gripe
I have with this, is that the vocals are a little too “goblin” for me
in parts. You’ll hear what I’m talking about.
OVERALL: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FOR FANS OF BLACK/DOOM METAL, ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO LIKE AGALLOCH, AND OTHER BANDS OF THAT STYLE.
is the band’s first EP, which spans longer than two of their albums.
With two tracks at a total of 35:00, there’s a lot of slow instrumental
passages. That’s not to say that there isn’t any heaviness here, it’s
just more in tune with the doom sound that was heavy but scattered on
the last album. Here, we see it almost completely influencing the band.
This isn’t a bad thing, as it seems that the band’s sound has completely
changed from Sol (2008). Some cleaner vocals make it in this time as
well, even though they are yelled. (kind of in the vein of Primordial)
times, I think that this band is trying to compete with Primordial -
even though it’s hard to one up Nemtheanga. Ireland has always been
famous for it’s doom metal, and it seems to come so natural to people
there. While there isn’t so much black metal on this album, it’s still
worth a listen, or a buy - if you like your doom and black together.
Again, the instrumental passages are strong, and for many fans of
post-metal even, this is going to be a worthwhile listen. If you like
Isis, Minsk, Boris, Neurosis…You get the idea.
OVERALL: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FOR FANS OF BLACK/DOOM METAL.
TRY: ALTAR OF PLAGUES - THROUGH THE CRACKS IN THE EARTH (2007), SOL
(2008). YES, THEY’VE PUT OUT SOMETHING EVERY YEAR, SINCE 2007.
- Beyond Hell, Above Heaven (2010) - I don’t know what to say here. I
didn’t like these guys before, and I don’t like them now. This isn’t a
bad album, and I’ll admit that there’s about 3 songs which I found
tolerable, and one that I actually liked. This song in particular was
the hearken back to the death metal era, “Evelyn”. I have to admit, the
band sounds better as a death metal band, and I can tolerate the clean
vocals better, when they’re backup vocals. The band is pretty solid,
going through the genres of rock, metal, and punk, but this album is
mostly dominated by punk music. There’s very little metal here, and
compared to the last album, it kind of falls short. Of course, with a
rare sort of act like Volbeat, there are the fans who are quite rabid,
and they’ll buy it anyway. The best thing I can say about this album is,
if you didn’t like the vocals before, you won’t like them here either.
This album is just about a huge sellout for the band. Thank you,
OVERALL: ONLY FOR VOLBEAT FANS, AND PUNK FANS, AND ROCK FANS. BARELY A METAL ALBUM.
Tide - A Thin Shell (2010) - Well, I know that I dogged heavily on Nox
Aurea’s style of doom/death, and that’s because it was bland and awful.
But, let me clue you in some information regarding this band. It
consists of ex-Katatonia members, and the vocalist for the band is also
the same vocalist for In Mourning, who is an up and comer that up and
came. If you haven’t heard that one yet…(I’ll review it later.) Anyway,
what we’ve got here is beautiful melodies, passionate vocals,
(“Blackness Devours” for example) and a hell of a lot more form and
function than Nox Aurea had. If you like doom/death at all, you owe it
to yourself to pick up this album. Even if you don’t like doom/death,
you owe it to yourself to pick up this album. Even at a short 42:00, it
can be played again and again. It’s pure and awesome blackness through
and through. You’re an idiot not to get this one. Between this and the
new In Mourning album, (which both released in 2010) I’m at an odds as
to what the best doom/death album is this year.
OVERALL: GREAT MELODIC DEATH/DOOM. GO GET IT!
ALSO TRY: IN MOURNING - MONOLITH (2010)
Cycle - Soul Cycle (2010) - What we have here is a solid “Instru-Metal”
band. Yes, I said “Instru-Metal”. It pretty much tells you what you’re
going to get… Great riffs, good solo work, virtuoso shit, solid drum
work, and no vocals. If that sounds good to you, then here’s 10 more
tracks to add to your list of “cool sounding shit”. The only difference
here is that it’s no “Behold The Arctopus”, and more in the vein of an
instru-metal early version of In Flames, or some other melodic death
metal band. I hate to say it, but I really don’t get this kind of stuff.
Being a vocalist, I always thought that the instrumental bands were
always missing that integral part of music, which is the lyrics. On the
other hand it’s good to practice vocals with. But, that’s not what it’s
OVERALL: TEN GREAT INSTRUMENTAL TRACKS THAT IN FLAMES OR
(INSERT NAME HERE) SHOULD HAVE WRITTEN YEARS AGO. WOULD BE BETTER WITH
Dimmu Borgir - Abrahadabra (2010) Those of you who
know what this word means, should be familiar with the words of Aleister
Crowley. This is an album with lyrics steeped in high magic, and I’d
like to read them - except that I doubt that I’d really learn anything
that I couldn’t already learn from the works of Crowley, Spare, and
Carroll. It seems to be telling a message of “practice magic” rebel, and
such. Just what the youth of our already disenfranchised age fucking
needs. Now, the album…
Many of you would think that after a
tremendous release like their last album, that this one would be a step
in the right direction…that it would be a Dimmu that we haven’t already
What we’ve got here, is quite simply…horse shit.
I say that with all politeness, but I am extremely disappointed in what
I hope marks an end to the Dimmu Borgir project. It is time to hang it
up, throw in the fucking towel, so to speak.
Why is it so bad?
Well, the riffs are very simple, the orchestra pretty much takes over
everything, and while I admit that there are good tracks, (“Dimmu
Borgir” which is the only really good one) the whole album is clearly
lacking something. Some of you may think that I am wrong, and I am okay
with that - but when you add deathcore style vocals in one of the songs
“The Demiurge Molecule” , not to mention what almost reminded me of
“breakdowns”, and a clear lack of full black metal throughout the album,
(it’s a 360 from the last album, trust me. Not much thrash here) it’s
no good. Plus, I believe that Shagrath is singing - and this is a
complete disservice to mankind. His vocals are dreadful, and I really
wish that they had dropped the project after Vortex left. I’ve listened
to this twice, just reviewing the tracks, and trying to find something
on here decent, and the only thing that I find half-ass decent on this
shit-storm is the beginning solo of a song called “Renewal”.
you get an awful lot of bombastic music, and fans of orchestral pieces
might consider this “their best orchestral work”…except for the fact
that “Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia came out in 2001”, and it’s
multitudes better than this. This is by far the worse release that I
have ever heard from the band. It doesn’t grow on you, it’s just
ridiculousness through and through! Are they even trying anymore?
I might as well add, that the female who is well known for “Gateways” is actually only featured on that song!
more thing - The two bonus tracks consist of an orchestral version of
“Gateways” sans the band and vocals, and the second is a cover song, of
which I am unsure of the title. (Mine just says “Track 12”) I have to
ammend this, it is an awful cover of "Perfect Strangers" By Deep Purple.
Yeah, there's nothing more black metal than Deep Purple...
BARELY EVEN BLACK METAL…SO MANY OTHER GOOD RELEASES HAVE COME OUT SINCE
THIS ONE…GET THOSE INSTEAD! (ENSLAVED, IN LINGUA MORTUA, ABIGAIL
WILLIAMS (YES, EVEN THEM!) FOR EXAMPLE) I AM DISGUSTED, AND SO SHALL YOU
Nokturnicon - Archetype Ov Darkness (2010) - Since
this band has personally asked me to review and has sent me some
pre-final master recordings, I will give them the honor of a track by
track review. I also went through the trouble of naming, numbering and
what-not, as well as mastering the thing in 320 kbps, even though I can
barely hear a difference.
1. As The Windows Of The Soul Turn
Black - I’m not much of an intro guy. Some intros I like, but very few. I
thought this one was too short to leave an impression, but it opened
the album up the way that they wanted. It’s just an intro, after all.
Consider This - I thought that the vocals strayed a bit from the
melody, but this is normal with demo work, so I ignored it. I’ve been
there before, so I know how things can sound when you start out.(Plus
there’s my awful album, that you can d/load just to see.)
Still, I thought the song was solid.
Intercede - This one has the blast beats and such that we get from
black metal. I thought the vocals went much better here, except that
there wasn’t anything really interesting. Although, it’s a solid piece
4. I Cease and Wither - This one has a lot of potential.
I really like the riffs, and even though the vocals sound lower, it has
enough to interest my sporadic mind. So far, best of the album. Really
feeling the emotion on the vocals.
5. Premonition Oblivion - I
really feel that too much of the “scowl” is being used. The vocalist has
great lows, but too much of the high vocal makes the thing seem
laughable. In this song, it is being overused. I still think it’s good
6. We Are Legion - The vocal mix is far too high in
the beginning, but when the song warms up, it doesn’t sound too bad.
Again, I have to stress that the scowl is too much, but I’m trying to
figure out what in the mix is causing that scowl, because this could be
much better if that scowl was lowered. The song as a whole could be good
with a bit more mastering. I still think it’s a good song though.
Wickedness Of A Euphoric Nature - This song sounds pretty solid, and
the vocals are much more in check. The whole thing sounds much stronger
when the vocals are not as high in the mix, and you can hear that in
here. There’s some promise in this song, and the piano I thought was
8. Beyond The Mist - In this song, we have the
opposite effect - the vocals are too low in the mix. Overall, this song
sounds pretty solid as well. Nice use of the sound effects and voice
9. Bleeding Effigy (These Are The Last Days) - The quote
fits well with the title of the song, and when the band kicks in, I
think things sound good, but the symphonics are a little loud, and it’s
hard to hear the guitars. Overall, I still think it’s a good song. One
of my favorites. The vocals also aren’t biting at me on this one, and
that I like.
10. Frost - Wow. Good use of symphonics in this one.
This song should introduce the album. Not to mention that the mix is
good, and the whole thing sounds solid as hell. The vocals sound great
here. This song could be great with the right production, I am really
digging this. Best song on the album! This should be a single.
Aetheral Ascendance - Yet another great use of symphonics here. This
instrumental piece could be an opener, or a closer, and yes - I’m right
about this, it’s better than the one I heard from Enslaved, on their new
album. This is what an instrumental piece should be, not just a slight
12. To The Throne Room - The lyrics sound like they
were being rapped at beginning, but the song itself sounds good. Again
with the scowls, but the musicality of this piece is better than the
opening pieces. Although, I hate to say it - unless they are trying to
go for an urban audience, this one might need to be left off. I can kind
of imagine some sort of black metal rap thing with this one. Definitely
for the adventurous listener. But, I will say it’s unique.
SixSixSick - I was told this was a Dio tribute, and even though I am a
big Dio fan, I’ve never heard this song. I’m opened by a movie quote
from a film I have not seen, but then I am greeted with some interesting
riffs. Still, the scowl was much higher here. I think it was the mix or
the program, because parts of this album do not sound like that. Please
fix this problem, it will help a multitude. As for the song, I think
it’s a decent black metal rendition of a heavy metal song. I know that
this is tribute, and it sounds fitting, so that should be all for that.
I think that Nokturnicon is a promising local black metal act, who I
have respect for regardless. There’s not a lot of black metal in
Arkansas, and to hear some is refreshing. Although I feel that the scowl
was too high on the newer mixes, I’m sure they’ll fix and polish the
whole thing a few more times before it goes out to the public. What I
can say is that this is a solid black metal band, with a large
underground following and a good vocalist. There’s no reason why they
can’t ascend to higher rungs in the black metal ladder, so to speak. Yet
I’ve heard several bands try, and it takes a hell of a lot to make it. I
actually own plenty of demos from bands who went nowhere. Including my
own previous band, “Unholy Sacrifice”.L (Still bitter about that.)
you want your band reviewed, just send me a link to grab your
album.(all songs should be numbered, put into a folder, and then zipped
or rar-ed please) and mediafire is appreciated when you upload, though I
will use any. (In case you’ve already uploaded your album to site X.)
Not seeing something up here? If you want it reviewed, just post it - and if I can find it, I’ll review it for you next week.
I must apologize for the length of some of these reviews. Some releases do need a few paragraphs, but not many.