Remains provide albums …Of Death and Angels Burned for download

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Mexican death metal band Remains have provided their first two releases, 2013 EP …Of Death and 2014 LP Angels Burned, for free download to fans. The band composes mid-paced death metal with atmosphere derived from the interplay of visceral and evocative riffs.

The band added a simple statement: “Download for free…If you like it… BUY IT!!!” Many longtime observers of the music industry wish others would follow this model, since there are basically two types of people who listen to metal, the day trippers and the lifers, and the lifers tend to buy everything they like if they possibly can. This model will not work for the latest Beyonce album or even the interesting-for-two-weeks-maybe legions of hipster metal, metalcore, indie metal, blackgaze, etc. bands, but it does work for death metal.

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Satanic cult The Temple of THEM releases Oto Anorha issue #34

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The Australia-based Satanic cult The Temple of THEM has released the 34th issue of its publication, Oto Anorha, as a free download online. The publication comes out intermittently according to the whims of the organization, which maintains an informal presence on the internet on Facebook.

Packed with illustrations, rites, scene reports and theory on the nature of Satanism, Oto Anorha offers the skeptic and devoted cultist alike an insight into this naturalistic but intensely focused branch of Satanism.

The Temple of THEM claims to be moving into the “second phase” of its thirty-year reign with the launch of a new local group in Australia, new goals and guidelines, and an outlook that matches its metaphysical goals to physical components.

For more information, see the Lulu page for the 205mb download.

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Interview with Jerry Warden of the Heavy Metal Hall of Fame

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We last talked to Jerry Warden when he announced his intention to create a Heavy Metal Hall of Fame in Arlington, Texas. He took a few moments to grant us an interview and reveal the plan, along with details about his past band Warlock and Texas metal.

You founded Warlock with your brother and two members of what would eventually be Rigor Mortis. What did Warlock sound like? Why do you think it achieved such legendary status in the Texas metal scene?

Originally, we were clueless kids/young men with a love for metal. We played cover songs of the NWOBHM bands and other heavy fare of the time. We didn’t write originals until Rick began to blossom as a song writer.

Recently, members of Warlock have restored the band and plan to release material from the demos. What can you tell us about this?

We played our reunion show at Diamond Jim’s Saloon in Arlington on Sat., Aug. 2 of this year and play on NYE at The Boiler Room in Deep Ellum. We combined the 1986 recording with one song from the 1985 recording and Kerry Crafton mastered the final product.

Do you think Warlock will write and release new material?

We have completed two new songs, “Rubber Bullets” and “Devil Dance” and will continue to write and rehearse for the foreseeable future. “Walking Plague” was recorded by Gammacide but was written by Warlock and we never recorded the song. We intend to record “Walking Plague” and several new songs next year for a 2015 release.

After Warlock, members went on to Rigor Mortis and Gammacide, which were bands from the newer style of metal at the time. How do you think these bands influenced Texas metal? Was their style a natural outgrowth of where Warlock had been heading?

“Walking Plague” and “Gutter Rats” were Warlock songs. Gammacide was a direct outgrowth of Warlock whereas Casey and Harden met Mike and he took them down a different metal path.

Do you think it’s possible to be a metalhead for your whole life and never get bored? Should metal be designed for people beyond their teenage and early 20s years?

Fortunately, I’m a simpleton, a meat and potatoes metalhead. Some mention the word shallow and I’ve been accused by more than one person of failing to “grow up” but I still love metal music. I listen to the hard rock of my youth to the current sounds of Ancient Instinct by Primordius and a whole helluva lot in the middle. I love the lifestyle, too. I get excited for the first cold night of each Fall to wear my leather jacket. Metal music has grown from a community to a family with many positive results. You see a growing number of benefit shows each year for different brothers and sisters but metal continues to provide an edge for the old and clueless as well as the young and clueless.

Your newest project is a “Heavy Metal Hall of Fame.” What gave you the idea for this? Why now?

The Heavy Metal Hall of Fame (MHOF) is overdue at this point. The idea originated from the lack of respect shown to metal music by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (RHOF) but, as our community or family evolves, we need a place of our own regardless of any outside factors including the RHOF.

How do you intend to get funding for the “Heavy Metal Hall of Fame”? Will it be a physical museum that charges admission? What are you going to put in the gift shop?

Our major form of funding will derive from grants. We will have a brick and mortar version of the Hall in Arlington, Texas. We should have the grant money in place to lease a building next year. Within 5 to 10 years, we should have the money to construct our own building.

What bands do you think were essential components of the Texas metal scene? Did they all get discovered and accepted, like Pantera and others did?

You’ve gotta begin at the beginning with Warlock, Pantera, Rigor Mortis, Helstar, Watchtower and Militia but gotta mention dead horse, Gammacide, Rotting Corpse, Arcane, Morbid Scream, Absu, Blaspherian, HOD, Shawn Whitaker, SA Slayer, Solitude, Aska, Primordius, etc. The list of bands who were and are essential components of the Texas metal scene should never end.

With Warlock returning and the Heavy Metal Hall of Fame, do you see yourself re-living your youth, or simply doing things you wanted to do the first time? Was there some moment in the past where things did not work out, that you’ve now managed to get past?

The Heavy Metal HOF is a natural progression for me in life. Rick Perry left Warbeast and asked me to reform Warlock with him. Rick Perry defined heavy guitar in the D/FW Metalplex as well as around Texas and the rest of the world. I am honored and very fortunate to share the same work space as Rick and very lucky to share a band with Clay McCarty & Randy Cooke.

Who do you feel is the audience for the Heavy Metal Hall of Fame, or the typical person you imagine will visit, and what do you think it will be like for them? How would it have felt to a 16 year old version of yourself?

I believe metal music transcends the generations and expect to see metalheads of all ages at the Hall. I believe we still have the same excitement within us as the 16 year old metalhead. Unfortunately, in a lot of cases, as adults, we’ve learned to contain our excitement.

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#metalgate SJWs blink

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Last night, the Music, Metal and Politics mailing list had its archives available for the world. Then we ran an article here showing various list members calling for censorship, career destruction and other forms of retribution against me for having published articles critical of SJW antics in #metalgate.

This morning, the list archives are password-protected, as if there were something to hide and a fear of outsiders. In round one of #metalgate, the SJWs struck what they thought was a decisive blow, but in the end, they blinked.

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Interview with Abscession

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We have kept our eye on Swedish death metal style band Abscession who make a somewhat modern version of the classic sound of bands like Entombed and Cemetary. Their first album Grave Offerings touches down early in 2015, and has already generated interest and criticism in the metal community. We were fortunate to be able to chat with the two active members of Abscession, Thomas and Skaldir, about the band and its music.

When did Abscession form? Why did you choose the name that you did?

Skaldir: We formed in 2009 and it was important to us to choose a one word band name. Since almost every word is taken by some metal band by now, it wasn’t easy. The name also should have a classy feel. Brutal and concise. We all had bands before. Personally I had my first band in 1992, which played some kind of melodic Doom never heard before and after. I started playing piano and then later also tried guitar.

Thomas: I’ve been in various bands since the mid nineties both as a guitarist and as a vocalist. I’m a pretty lousy guitar player though so nowadays I tend to focus on the vocals. I’m also active in blackened death act Throne of Heresy, and have been in Zombie Destrüktion since 2002 together with Markus Porsklev who also plays the drums on Grave Offerings.

Your style runs the gamut from old school heavy metal through 1990s Swedish death metal and perhaps beyond. What are your current influences? Have these changed over time?

Skaldir: For me there are always some records that never get old. The first stuff I liked as a teenager, like DEATH, HELLOWEEN, EDGE OF SANITY. But I listen to a lot of different music from AOR, Progressive Rock to Death metal. And even if I have a lot of favs from the early 90s, there are happily also some new albums that can excite me from time to time.

Thomas: Well, I find it interesting to mix things up a bit and I like lots of different music. My death metal influences are mainly from Swedish style death like EDGE OF SANITY, BLOODBATH etc but I also enjoy more progressive stuff like OPETH. I always like stuff that has hooks in it but which also grows on you with every listen. I think maybe that’s where our death ‘n roll-style influences come from, since I really like that kind of stuff when it’s done in moderation. But then there’s a whole range of bands outside the realm of death metal that influence me in different ways. Everything from classic IRON MAIDEN to FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM have had a huge impact on the way I write lyrics for example.

Where did you record Grave Offerings and how did you achieve the sound you did? Was it to your satisfaction? Would you do anything differently next time?

Skaldir: Since I am a sound engineer most of the recording was done at Studio Kalthallen.

Thomas recorded his vocals himself, and everything was mixed in my studio in the end. We decided to let Dan Swanö do the mastering.

It is a classic BOSS HM-2 guitar sound. That is a distortion pedal a lot of people will know from ENTOMBED. Actually I used two and combined two different stages of distortion and mic’ed the cabinet with three microphones. I am pretty happy with the sound, but I think next time I will rather mix a “normal” distortion” in to a HM-2 distortion.

Are the members of Abscession full-time musicians, or is this a “spare time” project?

Thomas: We’ve all got other jobs outside of the music since it’s not something we can really live on (yet…). But we’re all dedicated to this art form and see it as something more than a part time project — it’s been a part of all our lives for many years and makes us who we are.

Why, do you think, is Swedish metal 1985-1995 so legendary? Even though that was two decades ago?

Skaldir: I think it was a good time for metal in general. People just did what they liked and a lot of new genres were founded. Those old bands didn’t exactly play perfectly and the sound also wasn’t perfect at all. But it was unique and it was something never heard before. Doing something new these days isn’t so easy.

Thomas: Sweden has been a big music nation for decades with everything from ABBA to Europe paving the way. A lot of people growing up back then learned to play instruments in school and of course it all helped to pave the way for successful metal bands. Even if they didn’t play perfectly there was something experimental and organic over the music from that time which also made it interesting to listen to.

Did you ever consider composing in a newer style of metal, like metalcore or “melodic metal”? What do you think is different between those styles and the classic underground Swedish metal sound?

Skaldir: I would say we are a rather melodic Death Metal band. The style we play at the moment is exactly what we want to play, and maybe the only thing we are good at. It’s not like we want to copy the old bands, but it is just our thing to sound that way. We will develop within the sound.

Thomas: Well, I think it’s always difficult and often unnecessary to brand everything within preconceived genres. I can’t remember a single discussion over the years where we’ve said “we’re gonna play within this or this genre.” We’ve written the songs we’d like to hear ourselves within our own capacity and it’s some kind of death metal. So no, we never sat down and considered writing metalcore or melodic death, even though our songs ended up having some melodies in them. I still wouldn’t brand it melodeath since we’re nowhere in the vicinity of IN FLAMES or other melodic death bands.

How do you compose songs? Do you start with a melody, a riff, an idea, a visual concept or something else?

Skaldir: I wrote a lot of riffs on my classical guitar here when I felt like writing riffs. Then later I thought about which riffs to combine. Normally you start with one riff and the rest just happens and you just know what has to come next and how you arrange it. At least that is how it is for me.

Later Thomas will listen to the song, and the mood of the song will inspire him to write lyrics.

Thomas: Yeah, Skaldir’s music sort of paves the way for the lyrics. I often have themes or ideas in my head that I wanna write about, but I never really know where to start. But usually after a few listens to a song I find a lyric rhythm and just start putting words in there that fit with the theme I want for the song. Sometimes it becomes clear very quickly but other times the lyrics takes on a life of their own.

For example The song “Plague Bearer” on Grave Offerings was supposed to be a really rotten track about a plague victim but ended up being an allegorical and anti-religious text instead. And to be honest, it’s a much better text now than it would have been if I had stuck to the original idea.

Where do you feel your demo “Death Incarnate” and Grave Offerings differ?

Skaldir: I think having a more technical drummer on Grave Offerings is the biggest difference to the demo. The songwriting is still pretty simple with the same trademarks the demo has.

Thomas: I think we’ve sort of found our path. A three track cassette like Death Incarnate can’t show the full range of a band’s sound as well as an album. And Skaldir has worked a lot with the overall production so it all sounds fucking great!

Grave Offerings is your first signing to a label. How is that working out? What do you plan for the future? Is there a tour in the works?

Skaldir: Well the demo tape was also released by a label. Suffer Productions is a small underground label though. Final Gate is a bit bigger, but still underground. We just signed for one album and will see what will happens next. So far we are pretty happy.

Thomas: Even though the current deal is for one album only I feel confident our next release will be a label release as well. We’re actually already working on the next album so no matter if there’s a label or not, ABSCESSION will go on. As far as tours go we’re not planning anything yet, even though we’d like to at some point in the future.

If people like what they hear, where should they go to learn more about Abscession? Are the demos still available? Do you think you’ll ever tour UK or USA?

Thomas: I actually don’t know if there are any demo tapes left, maybe Suffer Productions have a few but I doubt it. There are probably some underground metal webshops that would consider trading or selling it if you look hard enough.

But it’s also available as a digital release on our bandcamp. In this digital world we’re of course also present on facebook/abscession.

That’s probably the best way to learn more about us. As for touring the UK or the US, who knows… I guess we’ll have to wait and see how big the demand is once the album is released in early 2015!

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Mindcage – Our Own Devices

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Heavy metal with melodic vocal lines, Mindcage immediately calls to mind a cross between Queensryche and Candlemass, writing complex guitar leads on top of rock-rhythm classic heavy metal riffs. This allows Mindcage to create verses which showcase the melodic male and female vocals that serve as the lead instrument in these mid-paced songs, but also facilitate the inclusion of more intense metal riffing and soloing that will please fans of middle-period Iron Maiden. The rock-based focus on vocals pulls inside-out the extreme guitar-centric attitude of most metal bands, but with Mindcage, the result stands on its own.

Much of this material resembles 1980s Judas Priest in its mix of hard-rocking verses and metal choruses but song structures mostly stay within a reversed Slayer formula of verse-intro-chorus-bridge, yet vary the length and tempo to fit vocals and so manage to remain interesting. Because of its inclusion of post-speed metal riff styles, this band falls solidly in the “power metal” category but really spans over three decades of metal in a smoothly integrated whole. Those who like the paced vocal delivery of Candlemass and the melodic development of sung lines in the sense of later Queensryche will find some familiar twists and turns interpreted in a new way. While this would not make sense to most doom-metal fans, it maintains a mood that complements the plaintive despair of some doom and despite some fast riffs keeps songs within a reasonable pace.

The strength of power metal closely corresponds to its weakness. It is listenable, energetic and can be playing in the background while conversations happen. This means however that like rock it is intensely repetitive compared to death metal, where riffs vary more frequently and instead of vocals, serve as the lead instrument in composition. Within the framework of hybrid heavy metal and speed metal with death metal technique that is power metal, few are doing as well as Mindcage at keeping musical and emotional interest high without sliding into over-the-top dramatism like nu-metal bands. These songs present themselves in two stages, first appreciating the verse-chorus loop and its variations, and second, recognizing the moment of song development in the bridge or equivalent. This allows the band to keep any radical shifts muted until crucial points in the album, which allows this to be a good listen for being who are not focusing their entire being into the music. You would find it infinitely preferable to hear this at your regular bar than the usual power metal mishmash of theatrics, insistent verses and overly bombastic choruses.

Our Own Devices may not be over-active enough in the dramatic way that power metal has come to be, nor as inspirational and New Age positive as European listeners apparently like, but the solidity of this album lies in, like Queensryche and Candlemass, its ability to build a foundation around the vocals that enhance the mood-sensation of what they present. This creates a space for the kind of epic imagination that metal has always nourished with a touch of the science fiction style of outside narrative reflecting a technology for the soul that has hovered at the edge of power metal for some years now. Although Mindcage offer a different trip than riff-based power metal, Our Own Devices shows that they are one of the higher-quality players in that very specific niche.

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#metalgate SJWs prove their real purpose: censorship

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Let us quickly get rid of a basic confusion: censorship is using social or governmental pressure to remove from view unpopular ideas that are also plausibly accurate depictions of reality. This separates the act of removing someone spraypainting “death to all metalcore” from a ban on articles about metalcore.

Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) comprise the driving force behind the incursion into metal against which #metalgate is a reaction. Metalheads do not want to be told what to think by a self-appointed cabal determining what is “true” based on their ideological agenda. It does not matter which agenda that is, only that it swallows up truth and metal equally and uses them as means toward its real goal, which is power and control.

Our first #metalgate article pointed out that the agenda of such people is inevitably control. Written by Cory van der Pol, the article detailed how political movements assimilate genres like metal, re-purposing them for the movement’s own needs. He followed this up with an article showing how the methods used by SJWs are bullying. Passive-aggressive bullying perhaps, hiding behind the pretense of morality and “good” politics, but nonetheless bullying. Then he illustrated how SJWs are associated with metalcore and indie-metal and are using it to slowly blot out real metal and replace it with this ersatz and inferior substitute. Finally, he predicted that SJWs would deny and conceal their actual goal, which is to censor — see definition above — any metal that does not fit their ideological needs and by doing so serve as a justification for their employment in media, academia and promotions.

He was 100% correct.

Today SJWs mounted a concerted campaign to remove me from the MetPol mailing list, which discusses metal and politics. As of this evening, apparently I have been removed. Here are some of the highlights:

Can the mods please block Brett Stevens / writing an article like the one natalie linked to is not only repulsive it’s misogynist.

We should take stand against this kind of thing. It’s unacceptable. It’s offensive. Especially to survivors of rape and sexual assault. – Rosie Overell

I would feel immensely safer if he were removed. – Natalie Zina Walschots

I am aiming to give #metalgate and its instigators as little oxygen as possible, but am glad Natalie brought this up here and would support the moderators if they chose to show Brett and his sympathizers the door. This is a place where people strive to broaden the understanding of metal, not narrow it, and while narrow views have a place in the world they’re not in keeping with the mission of this particular list. – Beth Winegarner

As one of the people that this piece of shit screen-shot their FB page and posted on his website, I must add that what astounds me – but doesn’t necessarily surprise me, unfortunately – is the lack of comments from both this thread and my so-called metal ‘friends’ on Facebook and Twitter about racism that surrounds the issue. – Laina Dawes

I will say, however, that I have been dismayed by this situation and I remain in awe of Laina’s courage to speak out despite the harassment and terrorization she has received. – Jeremy Wayne Wallach

This is a public list, with public archives that you can search via Google, Bing or the search engine of your choice. They are open to all and can be read by non-list members without a login or leaving any identifying information. These people are voluntarily posting this data to a public list where they hope it will be read for years to come. With this kind of outcry, it is not surprising the moderators chose to avoid damaging the list with more such drama and to remove me. It was the act of the small group — a dozen members out of a thousand — who chose to demand that I be censored and removed.

I have been a member of this list for the past year, entering in discussion about metal and providing links to resources there, without engaging in a single political opinion. To my mind, #metalgate has never been about politics and whether one side is right or not. It is about the tactics of a certain group who, in Cory’s words, use politics as the mantle behind which they assume power. In other words, they are doing it “in our best interests” and against our wishes are educating, enlightening and improving us to make us good citizens of their ideal society.

I’d like to keep this conversation going without hammering on the idiotic obvious. I appreciate the banning, but I’ll echo Olivia by quoting her: “…banning a single individual is not going to solve the problems of racism and sexism in the metal community. These prejudices are within us and among us, and begin with the complacency purchased by our various privileges.” – Sara Sutler-Cohen

My stance on this issue has always been clear: we stood up to the Christian right, then we stood up to the NSBM people, and now we’re standing up to SJWs. Metal has a unique view of life and a unique viewpoint on how to handle certain things, and it benefits no one to have metal start parroting the points of view of other groups. We should have a diversity of approaches instead of a lock-step uniform viewpoint enforced with guilt and threats of censorship and lack of tenure. My participation in this entire event was as someone opposing censorship, and those who can read will note that none of our articles here targeted the beliefs of SJWs, only their methods and motivations.

During my twenty years of writing about metal, I have sought to avoid both political dogma and commercialization. After initial experiences, I did not trust academia because of its long-standing bias in one trend or another. (And if metal hates anything, it is trends.) From starting the first underground metal site on the net, first as FTP and later as a series of web sites, I have always advocated an open mind and open discussion. This apparently is not the agenda of SJWs and despite their initial denial, they proceeded exactly as their dissenters said they would: with calls for censorship and propaganda.

In the meantime, #metalgate is gaining momentum with new articles in the work on both metal and social commentary websites. The SJWs have defeated themselves by becoming the caricature that their critics said they always were. And if we need to look for a silver lining to this cloud, it is the confirmation of that stereotype.

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Daed – RaEP

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In metal, the “-core” suffix tends to mean a derivation from the endless stream of hardcore-infused and relative similar styles of music. But in electronic music, “-core” implies something different entirely, and in glitchcore band Daed this term takes on its original meaning as music that adopts the strictest standards for its own integrity and rejects the touchy-feely impositions of what the audience thinks it wants. Would you believe an audience survey? Neither do glitchcore artists.

Like metal, this genre — which sounds roughly like someone tuning an analog radio, switching between stations rapidly — takes an idiosyncratic look at life through music that aims to unsettle, provoke and disturb. Deriving its roots from the rapid pace of drum ‘n bass with the hip-hop penchant for sampling widely and forging it into song, glitchcore makes a collage of existing genres and thrusts them through a filter of someone holding down the fast-forward button. Daed takes on this genre by giving it a unique structuralist mindset where the samples and glitchy patterns seem to represent a voice bleeding through a cognitive barrier and manifesting in different forms, rather than many different voices only incidentally in tune. Sampling wildly from chiptunes, classic techno, hip-hop, found sounds and many electronically mangled raw sonic forms, Daed creates the equivalent of walking through a busy cosmopolitan city and seeing all of the different options and chaotic divergences, but through the same eyes.

What makes RaEP interesting is its tendency to pick up all these bits of scattered music and reinvent them, weaving skeins of other influences through the bunch. The Autechre-inspired tendency to find a place of peace after the chaos through which beauty flows, itself derived from one of the seven ritual stages of a techno set, manifests itself in many of these tracks. Some would compare this to Squarepusher without the reliance on fingers to keep up with the urgent percussion, allowing faster motion and more dramatic tempo changes. No vocals mar this style except those which are sampled, processed, re-sampled and distorted again. Like a high speed inner dialogue, this music deconstructs its world and itself to find commonality between these many bits and its own unique, personality-rich perspective.

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#metalgate SJWs fight back

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As you, our readers, know we tackle many difficult topics on this blog. Some involve pointing out what metal is trivial and what is not; others tackle “big people issues” like politics, society and moral questions. One of those has been Cory van der Pol’s recent series of articles on #metalgate, a conflict between “Social Justice Warrior” (SJW) journalists and those who feel that politics should not invade metal.

Death Metal Underground has for over two decades committed itself to truth, meaning those ideas which correspond to reality and imagination at the same time. We have broached many difficult issues and disappointed people from all sides of the political, social, sexual and ethnic spectrum, as well as delighting many others of similar orientation. If you like truth and metal, you will like this blog even if it has a somewhat acerbic style.

It is disappointing to see grown men and women behaving in such a way that there is only one word for them: bullies. Like witch hunters, bullies rely on a perception of social support in order to shame, humiliate and ostracize others. It is one of the lowest attributes of humanity to use bullying instead of the original form of getting anything done, which is honest discussion and debate. In fact, bullying is meant to prevent exactly that.

People such as the SJW above do not want a discussion; they want to ensure one does not take place. It is for this reason that we at Death Metal Underground proudly resist them and continue to run controversial articles by controversial writers. Anything else is preaching to the choir and I see no reason why we should waste your time with such a mundane endeavor.

Cory van der Pol may have another article coming on the #metalgate issue, or he may not. Regardless, Death Metal Underground will continue its mission of providing quality metal information no matter who gets offended and decides we are Satan. We will save you the trouble: we are the Satan to your pharisaic interpretation of God that excludes truth in the name of obedience, and we will always oppose you.

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Pact – The Infernal Hierarchies, Penetrating the Threshold of Night

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When black metal first hit the big time, my first thought was that the music industry was going to do to death metal and black metal what it did to hardcore music. When I spoke this out loud, people laughed it off, thinking that nothing that close to their hearts could change. Pact proves me right to such a degree that I doubt these people will even talk to me today.

Simply put, this album reduces black/death metal to formula in the late hardcore punk style, after the music industry came in and sanitized its opinions and enforced institutional-style songwriting. It got “professional.” And here we have a band which writes like a cross between later Gorgoroth, later Mayhem and early Impaled Nazarene. Pact carefully edits its material so that no extra riffs clog this album and each riff is roughly the same quality, which is fairly high but not exceptional. The problem is that all songs are template-cut just like the pop stuff you hear on the radio. Once you have heard five minutes of The Infernal Hierarchies, Penetrating the Threshold of Night, you have effectively heard the whole thing.

Pact like modern metal style vocals but write songs like a more literate hardcore band, using verse-chorus pairs to lead into a bridge that returns to the dominant theme. They vary up the riffing somewhat by using longer riffs and contrapositing them with variations on themes, but essentially this album pounds out the same circular formula per song. Tempi do not vary greatly nor do the changes between them differ, which results in the feeling of being trapped in a procedure like a doctor’s office or traffic court. While there are a few moments of insight on this album, as a whole it serves as a standardization of black metal to the point where it is interchangeable and thus is easily forgotten even while you are listening to it.

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