#1
Stentorian - Gentle Push to Paradise

The best comparison I can make with this is Sentenced's "North From Here" hybridized with Malevolent Creation. It's big, dumb heavy metal riffs and some guitar noodling that goes nowhere, so much so that you forget you're listening to something and it's not a flaky engine idling in the background.

Sulphur - Cursed Madness

We want to be Immolation, but we want black metal cliche too. Yet life goes on, far away from the speakers and, ...what was I saying? Oh, don't buy this CD.

Troglodytic - Promo 2004

Hi, we've collected a ton of cliches and roped them together with Garage Band. Worse than ****, because at least you can plant **** in your backyard and grow flowers. This CD made me want to kill myself... but I threw it away instead.

Utgard - Thrones and Dominions

Dark Funeral and Watain are sitting on a bus while Darkthrone's "Transilvanian Hunger" is playing, and it runs into the back of a garbage truck. Nice speed, good aesthetic, good mastery of Darkthrone through "Total Death," but end result is totally pointless. What's wrong with listening to the original albums that do this better?

Walknut - Graveforests and Their Shadows

Why does all of this stuff sound the same? Drudkh, Nokturnal Mortum and every NSBM band from eastern europe do this slow melody of three or four notes that's half-lullabye and half-affirming, aerobic exercise music. It's not bad; this is one of the better things to arrive lately, but it's completely without character, which makes it unlikely I'd listen to this again. Vaguely reminiscent of Gehenna's first album.

Wrath of the Weak - Alogon

This album was named after "a logon," because it's clearly destined for MySpace fame. These simple songs rely on a burly version of Burzum technique where layers of guitar and bass overwash, but unlike in Burzum, they're not playing anything inspiring. The result is droning dischord that neither enlightens, clarifies or distorts the senses in any interesting way. If you can play drums while listening to a jet engine, the result is the same.

Aäkon Këëtrëh - Journey into the Depths of Night

Some people always thought black metal should sound like Abruptum, which to me sounds like art school rejects taking on John Cage under the influence of cheap drugs, maybe mixed with Bondo or Killz for added kick. Lots of theatrical stuff, really simple music, goes absolutely nowhere and seems to think it's making a big splash by being anti-music. Well, if you're trapped in Guantanamo Bay, maybe this would be acceptable listening but everyone else has something better to do. A boy's choir from a home for the chronically retarded could do better.

Hail of Bullets - Of Frost and War

Do you like Verminous and Repugnant? This is similar: it claims to be old school death metal but it has more in common with metalcore tricked out with an extra dose of bad heavy metal riffs. High-intensity production and relentless attack makes this seem like it might be interesting, but then you realize that it goes nowhere when you subtract the effect these riffs had on you when the original artists played them, and that the constant drive/bouncy drums of a metalcore band make it both exhausting and tedious. Vocals are good, but CD is pointless.

Heresi - Psalm II - Infusco Ignis

They probably play this for suicide bombers. I could see blowing myself up to make this end. These guys can play their instruments, and production is good, and they've mastered the basic songwriting to make it seem good, but... and again, but... they pick very obvious patterns and then songs undergo no change except the basic demands of manipulating consciousness to make something sound good. "Now an uplifting part, then back to minor!" Just when you think we're going black metal, suddenly the bouncy heavy metal riff off a KISS album appears, and then more parts barf up, regurgitated from metal genres past in no particular order... OK, please no. I would rather listen to the soccer moms of America trying to cover songs from the first two Destruction LPs than this vomitous horror of good-but-not-good-at-all. Nilla, please.

The Howling Void - Megaliths of the Abyss

Neat, a Skepticism clone. But without anything really unique going on. It moves forward so glacially that you forget what just happened, so all you hear is the simultaneous ringing of keyboards and guitar drone, with a snare-bass plodding in the background. Unfortunately, it is also all too predictable even if you speed it up. And it takes forever to end. Forever, forever. This CD is better than most but still unremarkable.

Arsis - A Diamond for Disease

Oh no, it's the whisper-voiced rushing death/black assault. After a promising intro, and forty seconds of two-chord jazz-inspired rhythm riffing, suddenly we get the synthesized whisper and a break to a guitar fill that sounds like it's from the book of minor pentatonic scale variations commonly used by jazz/fusion bands to distract audiences from that moment when an overblown, pretentious song really begins to ****in' drag... and that's what this EP does, except at high speed. The problem is that there's no concentration on songs or ideas as a whole, so you get these budget riffs made all technical and then little diversions, but nothing ever comes into its own. Nice try guys, but next time, use notecards to organize and concentrate on having a song make a difference to the listener, not just teach them fret muting technique.

Ajattara - Itse, Aepere and Kalmanto

This is like metal bands who have failed since time immemorial (or 1970, take your pick). It's a bunch of well-known riff forms stitched together with rhythm, and skinned in lush layered vocals, keyboards and samples. Musically, indistinguishable from 1970s heavy metal, even if it has a black metal and doom aesthetic. Reminds me of later Cemetary. I can't listen to this ****.

Anti - The Insignificance of Life

Great name, great album name, more black metal/rock combo. They have Gorgoroth-ish technique, but all polished and bouncy like later Ancient. It's hard to argue against as music, but as art, no presence and no direction.

Bergraven - Dodsvisioner

It's like Comecon mixed with later Samael, lots of interesting background noises, and stompy riffs. It's catchy but it has no soul. I am worried that all the metal with balls has died. Take Vicodin, relax. Bergraven still sucks.

Fanisk - Noontide

These guys get the Hitler sample in early, so you might feel obligated to keep listening. Like Dimmu Borgir, the best part is the keyboards between black metal parts, which remind me of Gorgoroth's "Under the Sign of Hell" -- a lot of blatant chromatics and basic melodic minor noodling. Do I ****ing care? delete, delete

Forefather - Steadfast

Vikingish metal that reveals its roots in power metal. Lots of cool guitar parts that don't add up to much, a very cheesy aesthetic, and a style of fast flexible lead rhythm shifts that reminds me of Enslaved, In Battle and Kvist. More organized than most, musically the most impressive thing I've heard recently, but it adds up to an aesthetic pile of confusion that narrates itself on a wander and then comes back to safe ground, only to effectively trail off.

Gorath - Misotheism

How do they keep coming up with these plastic bands? They have no souls. This is paint-by-numbers rock-blackmetal, with lots of frilly adornments and absolutely no direction. Also sounds very emo-influenced, musically. It's like a carnival of distraction with a plodding heartbeat and an IQ test with more red ink than black on it. Yuck.

Sadistic But Accurate CD Reviews
#2
That's great, but it doesn't need a thread.

Edit: That ****ing anus site again. Advertising, spam etc.

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Last edited by Phill-Rock at Jul 15, 2008,