2017 Black Metal Dress Up

Reviews contributed to Death Metal Underground by Linus Douglas.

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.

Verdict: Transsexual Rock Mascara-Treating Symposium
Replace with: SatanLife Sentence (2013)

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.

Verdict: Blackened Guitar-Wank Carnival-Core for Average IQs
Replace with: KriegSono lo Scherno (2005)

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.

Verdict: Watain Fanboys With Too Much Money and Leisure Time
Replace with: TarnkappeWinterwaker (2016)

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.

Verdict: Reasons To Exterminate Humanity
Replace with: WitchbloodHail to Lyderhorn (2014)

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.

Verdict: Wierdo Synth Clowning for Gamers
Replace with: EmpyriumThe Turn of the Tides (2014)

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.

Verdict: The Confused Poserisms of a Sodomite
Replace with: Sorcier des GlacesNorth (2016)

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.

Verdict: Pantera Gateway for Disney Channel Emo Fans
Replace with: EnthronedSovereigns (2014)

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.

Verdict: Black Metal as Imagined by World of Warcraft fans
Replace with: VarathronStygian Forces of Scorn (2009)

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.

Verdict: The Cartoonish Mind of Sedentary Moderns
Replace with: DesecresyThe Mortal Horizon (2017)

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,

Verdict: A good, though less interesting Gevurahel
Replace with: HeresiarchDeath Ordinance (2017)

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19 thoughts on “2017 Black Metal Dress Up”

    1. Linux Dumbledore says:

      You got me, Mr. Holmes.

  1. S.C. says:

    An actual substantive version of SMRs. Maarat should take note

    1. Rainer Weikusat says:

      I don’t see much of a difference here: It’s mostly seemingly random labelling and the jokes are worse. Eg, I absolutely don’t understand how one can compare Stygian Temple to either Watain or Morbid Angel. The vocals are clearly Black Metal and not Death Metal and the music is based on ‘light’ dissonant, tremolo-picked melodies/ “long form riffs” and submerged, ‘linear’ blast beats and in the style one can also find on old Burzum or Darkthrone records, absolutely not how Pete Sandoval would play them, it’s just not particularly inspiring to anything. Judging from recent articles, Aversa Sevira would rather suggest itself here, both for the general style and instrumental proficiency for the sake of it and the idle playing around with ‘occult’ reference to hide lack of a message.

      1. Linux Dumbledore says:

        Chicken brains with too much classroom education produces Rainer-like specimens.

        1. Rainer Weikusat says:

          Friendly piece of advice: All your guesses about other people are competely wrong. You’re really just talking about yourself all the time.

          1. Linux Dumbledore says:

            Listen, Brainer Rascalslut, that’s not advice. Actual advice for you: try finding reasons why someone would say or think something in a certain way, instead of knee-jerking when these are not immediately obvious to you. You make for great ironic entertainment, though, little pumpkin.

            1. Rainer Weikusat says:

              Well, “have fun in wonderland, Alice”.

              1. Parental Optometrist says:

                He’s right, Rainier; that’s wasn’t advice. It was an opinion, a criticism. You’ve disappointed DMU with your misstatement, as you’re usually so exacting in your nitpicking.

                Your criticism reminds us of an old American schoolyard taunt: I KNOW U ARE BUT WHAT AM I

      2. S.C. says:

        At least some effort is palpable here vs. Maarat’s. Each review in this collection is actually written with some thought and regard for why the music is bad, not just that it is and should kill itself. It is absolutely superior to the monotone propagandist pedantry that is Maarat’s writing. Whether these are great or even good reviews is of course debatable, but they are undoubtedly better than the alternative.

      3. Linus says:

        Whoa! Just read carefully.

  2. neutronhammer says:

    Are these like the SMRs? Either way, i enjoyed it.

  3. Belano says:

    Nice reviews: the humour subsumed to the explanation of why the music isn’t good. The “replace” line is also a nice touch.

  4. Necronomeconomist says:

    tl;dr: everything is shit, read DMU’s positive reviews to find good things.

    This IS way better than Maraat’s SMRs, and the “replace” line IS a nice touch.

    Yet, as usual… so much ink spilled, so much thinking, about shite music that nobody would’ve heard about anyways.

  5. Vigilance says:

    That first riff on Angelcyde sounds like a modified smoke on the water played on a line 6 amp by some kid at guitar center. I was laughing hard so I must have missed how the song went from that to Dark Funeral candy core to Gorgoroth to beer metal riffs to…..I guess I probably didn’t miss anything because the rest was totally random.

    1. Rainer Weikusat says:

      I get the “Smoke on the Water” reference, however, that’s really faint and in the first three cords only. I doubt many people would notice this. The sound of whatever is used for the rhythm sucks. My washing machines make noises like this when spinning (it’s a bit old). The atmoshpere of the (first) track reminds me of something I’ve thankfully mostly, forgotten,


      IOW, this feels like computer game music. This is also not aggressive but hectic, kind of like a Japanese comic teenager on (too much) speed. The boyish, heavily core-y vocals complement this. Also, the “too many riffs thrown together with no apparent plan”. The lead overdubs(?) resemble sticky sweets on a hot summer day.

      However, some of the riffs are not that bad. If this came with a sensible sound, especially drum sound, if the vocals were less “mannish boy in a fit of impotent rage” and half of the ideas were developed (instead of just forming a panopticon) in 1/4 of the tracks, this could become something.

  6. Reichs in retaliation to Kikes says:

    Better than Mallrat.

    1. MarZ says:

      The picture is not new to me. The girl in the silver dress, there’s something about her but I can’t remember the story.

      1. MarZ says:

        She and an ex-metal hall forum poster have kids together from memory, one of which has downS just trying to remember the story

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