Karne – Symposium of Torments (2017)
There are few words that can accurately describe the disgust that a Hessian might feel at being served metalcore dressed in a thin melodic black metal vesture. Although undoubtedly marketed and packaged as black metal, its feeble attempt at hiding its flawed nature does not extend far beyond its choice of a black-and-white pseudo antiquarian cover, and tremolo-picked minor melodies. However, not even that little is accomplished: the character of the riffs falls on the wayside, reflecting Avenged Sevenfold mean-boy evilness that does not extend beyond nail-painting and hair spikes; the name itself does not seem to fit anywhere remotely black metal. Is the music itself worth anything musically? Their is a sense of connection between parts, and Karne avoids becoming a carnival of opposites, but it plays on the cheesiness factor while using standard sound structures instead of abusing a cheap melody like Infamous does half of the time. The recommended treatment for this album is incineration by flamethrower, and a severe man-making beating for the assholes making propounding this commercial piece of shit.
Angelcide – Black Metal Terrorism (2017)
The name of the band and album should already make what we are dealing with here obvious: self referential metal that is mostly about evil high school play pretend. Like Karne, it attempts sounding vaguely like a black metal band for around the first two minutes, after which its melodic metalcore guts are exposed by the scythe of on-going time, the master that never ceases to reveal all truth in the end. Anchor-Kite attempts a synchretism of styles that is simply contradictory, producing pieces that are little more than depressive kiddies with expensive guitars playing arpeggios over generic blast beats, and connecting these parts with even more generic evil sounding riffs. What makes Angst-Recipe even worse is that there is no discernment, and any crappy excuse of a riff and melody goes, as long as the guitar player can play it clearly enough for recording.
Stygian Temple – In the Sign of the Five Angles (2017)
The boutique metal representative of the lot, Stygian Temple exhibits a more obvious “knowledgeable” occultoid string of references extending from the artwork to the words used. As proper boutique metal, the music is actually closer to bland melodic heavy metal than to what could be properly distinguished as black metal by any standard other than that old mantra which goes something like “black metal can be anything that talks about evil and Satan”. When making its best to sound like black metal, Stygian Temple manages to approach the work of third-category Morbid Angel, without the distinguishing presence, that is, these brief sections also being inserted haphazardly in between even more forgettable Nodtveidt references.
Mavradoxa – Lethean Lament (2017)
The plastic neofolk opening gives us a taste of what Mavradoxa have in store for us, if the cover art work were not already a dead give away of the modern piece of assimilating shit this excuse of a metal album is. Not only is content substituted by unending rounds of run-of-the-mill folk metal harmonies, but they are simply arranged in long-winded stack formations, with the firm belief that carrying on this charade for a longer period of time somehow makes up for the mediocrity of the content. Most of the album is not even remotely black metal, but transitions between neofolk interludes, indie metal with vocal hints at toned-down screamo. There is also too much of Ihsahn’s cornholery here for anyone’s good.
Curved Blade – Coiled Together (2017)
How or why this is suspected of being black metal, besides the vocals, is beyond any sane man’s capacity of comprehension. Rasps are run over a music that smells somewhat like Brit rock/pop but tries to sound slightly tougher, if that is actually possible with the means of that genre. The vocals, of course, carry the most weight in confusing this music with metal. The second track places more weight on the metal gas pedal and the recursive drum beat pattern carries a synth phrase forward in a video-game imitation of some darker examples of black metal. Decisions regarding the succession and the progression of song narrative as a whole stop Curved Blade from escaping its Brit rock flavor, and at its best could be used as a vaguely satisfying video game soundtrack.
Ein – Entropie (2017)
This could be worse, but it is difficult to see how that would be possible, barring the catastrophic incompetence of musicians to play their instruments. This is indie metal poserism at its worse, with Judaic mysticism references on its front, sleeves and butt-cheek patches. Here we have a good example of how lyrical themes and musical outcomes can be linked and traced to certain mindsets: kabbalah black metal is never anything else but compositional bankrupcy replaced by signs in the air and the mistake of confusing musicianship competence with intelligence or transcendence. Entropie in particular is but a constant appending of weak melodic candy propelled by thin drum and guitar tremolo layers. To complete the ass-cheek spreading in preparation for sodomy, one of the band members decided it would be nice to insert some moving piano keys over long-held sweet synths.
Sator Malus – Dark Matters (2017)
Opening with an intro by the title of ‘Ominous Overture’, which is anything but ominous, and rather what one of those cheap fast-food lunchbox Hans Zimmer soundtracks would pump out for a commercial children’s fantasy movie. The movie that follows is no different, and why fans or the band is claiming to be black metal defies reason and imagination to those above the oompa-loompa fodder population. Half of the time sounding like depressive indie rock, half of the time like almost angsty rock, Sator Malus uses angry man quasi growled vocals that make the resulting overall music become less capable of being taken seriously. Generic moment after forgettable riff and already-seen copy-paste arrangement goes by until the band stacks five long, too long sonic turds after their proudly synthetic Disney intro.
Bereft of Light – Hoinar (2017)
An album full of sounds produced by computer synthetic simulation of nature-like cleansed sensations running over dreamy vague ideas that mean nothing and go nowhere. Attempted listens will leave rookies with the feeling that they have stumbled upon a profound record, and only years of listening will reveal that there is nothing behind the mist, except empty air. Bereft of Light is, like many others this year, simply a video game styled attempt at imitating so-called pagan black metal, or a shadow and misunderstanding of a naturalistic black metal.
Magoth – Anti Terrestrial Black Metal (2017)
Clearly, the band’s name and title of this album already reveals itself as idiocy of the highest caliber, and where mental atrophy has set its foot, nothing of note may come no matter how much technical proficiency and competence and musicianship you add to the mix. Not much to say about the music, except that it is similar to power metal, overlaid with rasp vocals and tremolo attacks with generic black metal formulations of the soft kind that standardizes and streamlines a genre into death my inertia and sameness. Would that someone close to these ‘musicians’ had the sense of ending pathetic excuses for music in the cradle.
Gevurahel – C.B.M. III (2008)
The only worthwhile album of the lot, and still a boring and streamlined one when compared with the more interesting past output of the band. The streamlining process has been taking place for a few years already and could be seen in the preceding album, though flexibility and some perspicacity still remained then. While typical Gevurahel deconstructs space and creates a spiraling vortex of riff-ideas and related diabolical melodies that is complemented by a very idiosyncratic approach to vocals, the present album appears to be creating flat riffs and merely functional drum arrangements to support vocal lines that are now also normalized to one kind of maddened speaking where they were similar to calling, enunciation and the aforementioned possessed madman banter. In its favor, it retains the flavor, content, and subtle guitar and vocal stylizations that are unique to Gevurahel. At least one of the songs appears to be a reworking of a song from the demos, and it is channeled into this new,
Tags: 2017, angelcide, bereft of light, black 'n roll, crypto-indie, curved blade, ein, folk metal, folk rock, gevurahel, karne, magoth, mavradoxa, metalcore, posers, reviews, sadistic metal reviews, sator malus, screamo, shit, stygian temple, symposium of torments