Judas Iscariot
To Embrace The Corpses Bleeding
[Red Stream]

The opening track here has to be one of the best Judas Iscariot songs yet, and that says a lot given some of the ones Akhenaten has come up with over the years. About halfway through the third minute the sound of a horse rearing back in the distance opens up an absolutely amazing riff, and the remainder of "I Awoke to a Night of Pain and Carnage" is the classic cold, crisp environment that defines the band when it's at its best. Since all of Dethroned, Conquered and Forgotten was fairly rocking (the best Andy had done in a while I thought) I felt inspired enough to pick this up, despite the fact that the past several albums have been very little but uninspired Darkthrone rehashing.

Unfortunately, this turned out to be inflicted with the traditional Judas Iscariot disease - that being, opening with a great song, and then turning to complete and utter boredom for almost the entire remainder of the album. One can't help getting rather irritated with this band, as you might think if Mr. Harris were not always doing fifteen separate projects and releasing a new piece of material every week, he might be able to concentrate and produce something rather incredible. It would be much preferable if he put out an immense album every few years than to lead us on with an endless stream of filler that occasionally reaches a moment of brilliance and then sinks back down to background noise again. He has the insight to pull off something better, but he doesn't appear to care about the effort required to do so.

In all fairness, "In the Valley of Death, I am their King" is another great song (with some chilling keyboards added through the studio) and it would be convenient not to have to stumble though three mind-numbing ones every time to reach it. If one were so inclined to continue listening to To Embrace the Corpses Bleeding at that point, they might wander through another three lame outings before getting to "The Dead Burst forth from their Tombs," which is so spirited in contrast to what proceeded it sometimes I forget that I hadn't changed the cd yet. But unless you are one of those which feels compelled to own everything Akhenaten creates, I can hardly recommend this, as well as any of the recordings past Of Great Eternity.

2002 hando