December Wolves - _Blasterpiece Theatre_
(Wicked World, 2002)
by: Pedro Azevedo (
Having been one of the half dozen people who seemed to notice and enjoy the band's previous record _Completely Dehumanized_ -- a harsh, gritty blast of urban black metal --, and after a four year long period of silence from the band, I was quite interested in hearing what they were up to these days with _Blasterpiece Theatre_. Alas, it seems that too much time has elapsed between albums, as December Wolves sound like a band who's grown tired of their own sound and felt the need to twist and distort it almost beyond recognition. Knowing _Completely Dehumanized_ and now listening to _Blasterpiece Theatre_, it sounds to me as if I missed an album in between these two -- only there wasn't one. The December Wolves of _Blasterpiece Theatre_ are a far more technological, deranged, psychotic beast than the cold and misanthropic band one could hear on _Completely Dehumanized_. _Blasterpiece Theatre_ overflows with samples, sound effects, artificially distorted vocals and instruments, and the entire concoction is only reminiscent of the previous album in some respects. The subtle melodic leanings buried amidst the harshness of _Completely Dehumanized_ is one of the most significant victims of the band's new sound. The music on _Blastperiece Theatre_ does indeed have a lot more to do with what might be brought to one's mind by the album title rather than the band's name. The samples thrown in between the tracks generally succeed in setting a suitable atmosphere for the music, but those that consistently mingle with the guitars are hardly ever anything but annoying. This is especially true when one considers the noisy, abrasive production -- one that is not quite as misanthropic as Ulver's on their _Nattens Madrigal_ [CoC #21], but then _Blasterpiece Theatre_ fails to benefit from it in terms of atmosphere the way _Nattens Madrigal_ does. What December Wolves have tried to do most of the time is unfortunately so hyperbolic and chaotic that the better passages are diluted in the fury of sounds and constant changes that whirlwind their way through the entire album. This is an eminently headache-inducing record that contains plenty of interesting ideas and could have been a lot more enjoyable if the band had managed to articulate them better.
(article published 3/7/2002)
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