Article by Corey M.
Sunday is a day for expunging the weekend toxins before the work week. Here are three from our staff:
Humm – Sanctuary (2015)
Though the Genre tag in my media player says “black metal,” this is actually limp-dick hard rock (not even indie rock) with a barely edgy aesthetic. One man is responsible for this clown show, including the humiliatingly effeminate vocals. The best parts of the album remind me of another one-man half-assed heavy metal act, Dawnbringer, that was incompetent but at least not overwhelmingly homoerotic. The other parts sound like the forceful butt rock of Baroness, sans any of the amusing guitar parts, and even free of any pretense toward being metal. It’s really just a few rap verses away from Linkin Park at any moment. Just listen to the first song, These Woods Are Imaginary (and what kind of fucking imaginary woods is this joker living in which allows inane song titles like that in black metal?), which sounds like the introduction to a hummable number in a direct-to-DVD sequel of a mediocre Disney movie, and you’ll detect a light-pale gray perhaps, but definitely no black. This dude needs to lay off the weed, or sedatives, or whatever the hell he uses to ego trip himself into thinking that Sanctuary is a worthy contribution to black metal or even music universally. Give him about eight hits of acid, tie him to a chair, and make him watch a few hours of dog fights. Maybe that’ll give him some idea of what is expected of black metal, so he can quit and go back to work doing literally anything other than producing this kind of waste. could not sit through this entire album, even after trying twice. I felt the vengeful claws of Satan closing about my spine, and, fearing diabolic retribution for indulging this namby-pamby pretender, quit listening before the end.
Inglorious – Eternal Chaos (2015)
Inglorious play distressingly indistinct metal that shares the self-conscious compulsion of later Gorgoroth to make sure the music never strays noticeably far from black metal aesthetics. In a pathetic attempt to distinguish their music, the band intersperses bits of spoken word lyrics and quiet, clean, single-string picked passages that add nothing to any song but instead reduce the energy level even further. The lethargic nature of this album is poorly masked by the borderline-metalcore chugging sections that attempt to provide much-needed contrast to the directionless tremolo-blasting sections. The failure of Inglorious is a crucial one; they are not inspired to write melodies. They make sounds with their guitars but the sounds merely make themselves heard; they bear no relation to each other or the listener, let alone a unifying narrative. A classic example of trying too hard, the riffs just pass by in illogical, counter-intuitive sequences, using illogical, counter-intuitive intervals, all in a very forced “chaotic” (read – incoherent) manner. It’s almost like the guitarists learned all their keys and scales and then decided to avoid them and forego tonal structure as often as possible. This may sound cool to a hipster but anyone with more than five or six brain cells rubbing together knows that keys and scales are designated for a reason; because the human brain makes sense of sounds arranged in that way. With that in mind I can barely even consider half of this garbage “music” due to it being intentionally disorganized sound.
Sauron – Hornology (2015)
Hornology will sound like gritty Satanic bestial brutality to the typical knuckle-dragging metalhead but what is really going on here is hyperactive nonsense masquerading as high-energy black metal. This is a frustrating listen because occasionally interesting riffs will appear (like the creepy arpeggio at the 2:21 mark in Incantation (Let Me Fall)) but they are sandwiched between meathead Pantera chunking, so they end up sounding like fortunate accidents coming from the guitarist’s incessant spew of schizophrenic gibberish. The vocals are apparently made up of pitch-shifted Oscar the Grouch samples and are totally CAVERNOUS-OUS-OUS-ous-ous so watch for this to appear on one of Kim Kelly‘s lists of hip albums that don’t offend feminists. Underneath the carefully polished veneer of kvltitude the discerning listener will easily recognize Motley Crue riffs that are augmented with tritones, making each song sound like a clusterfuck of discarded Marty Friedman chord progressions. Apparently these guys really want to be another vicious, fast-paced riff-fest in the style of the best black metal from the Netherlands but there is no black flame burning here. Not even a fake fire place with the fan blowing little red strips of paper, more like one of those DVDs that just display a video of fire so you can have the visual representation of warmth without any of the actual chemical reaction.