Now you might be wondering what has been taking me so goddamn long to get back on here. It is summer after all. I should have loads of free time. Well to tell you the truth I do, but I've been spending it on other activities. Music, bar my instruments, has irritated the fuck out of me in the last few months, and 2012 has been shaping up to be one of the weaker years in extreme music outside of the demo scene. Why? There's plenty of erm...great bestial black metal right? We've got Pseudogod, the recently released Wrathprayer, and a bunch of quality demos and EPs. What else do we have? Not much. Even outside of metal it's been a relatively forgettable year.
The whole bestial black metal movement was initially fine by me. There's a bunch of solid acts like Diocletian, Archgoat, and numerous others who make all the Ross Bay Cult worshippers cream themselves in delight. The problem with this movement in 2012 is that, like with all subgenres, it's reached a point of oversaturation. That wouldn't be such a bad thing if it wasn't so sudden. Maybe it really is just me, but it feels like the whole bestial black metal and associated "war metal" scenes literally exploded in late 2009 and have since been carried over the end of the world on the waters of excess. If it's just me then I apologize now, but it's a thought that's kept me from even feigning interest in black metal for quite some time.
Now comes the part where I come across as a hypocrite. I'm going to recommend that you listen to fucking DESECRESY: gloriously groovy doom-influenced death metal.
Sounds derivative right? Who cares. This shit is wonderful. Told you I'd sound like a hypocrite.
These Finns really know what they're doing when it comes to songwriting. Despite being about as technically challenging as tying one's shoes, The Doom Skeptron is littered with cool phrases and great headbanging grooves. The numerous nods to Bolt Thrower and the similarities to Slugathor's (featuring the same members) less slow side make the album worth listening to. The Doom Skeptron isn't the most original material on the face of death metal (anything but considering the influx of old school death metal bands - almost as bad as bestial black metal), but these guys do a great job with it. That's a lesson that can be learned by all these basement-dwelling bestial black metal acts that keep popping up overnight. If you're going to mimic a style or feel, do it right and with your own spin. Becoming the umpteenth clone of Blasphemy is about as cool as wearing corpsepaint in public.
The Doom Skeptron is consistently catchy and appealing. Each track has a particular standout riff or passage that creates a strong atmosphere and usually leaves my neck sore. "Sons Of The Burning God" is probably the speediest on the album, but the groovy chugging gives way to some interlaced melodies that carry the weight of the song. This is the case even with the slower tracks. The pummeling nature of the low-end creates a gap for the nuanced guitar melodies to become the focal point. In essence the lead guitar isn't competing with any other instrument for the limelight for most of The Doom Skeptron, although you won't be headbanging to the leads so much as the pounding rhythm. An exception is the personal favorite of mine and opener "Forged From Chaos," which features a sinister melody that plays during breaks and ends the song on a softer note. "Declined Resplendence" and the powerful "Burial Adorations" both make for a strong middle and the fitting ender "The Solemn End" closes up the album.
I'm definitely a fan of the solo work and the production values on the album too. The solos are less distracting than usual and serve to immerse more than anything on The Doom Skeptron. As if the production doesn't do a good enough job of that as is. The album is dark, with a hearty low-end and a solid bass although the instrument itself is mixed rather low beneath all the distorted cacophony. The vocals bear a bit on the side of monotony though, and although they fit, they could use a bit more variety. Other than that this is a solid release worth checking out in a year that hasn't been so kind to any metal subgenre.
8.0 out of 10
|1.||Forged from Chaos|
|2.||The Sleep of Titans|
|3.||The Sceptre of Damnation|
|7.||Sons of the Burning God|
|8.||The Solemn End|
Listen // Buy