Ornaments of Sin - _Inhale Zyklon-B_
(Total Holocaust Records, 2003)
by: Matthias Noll (5 out of 10)
Without a question France is a hot spot as far as underground black metal goes. Bands like Blut aus Nord, Nehemah and Deathspell Omega have set the bar for recent French black metal to a very high level, and my expectations are never low when a new band from the country of frog and baguette emerges. Unfortunately, Ornaments of Sin have nothing to offer which would justify further praise to be bestowed upon their country of origin. Yes, they have a controversional album title which surely guarantees a decent amount of attention among worshippers of NSBM, claim to be "French black metal elite", and swing some oversized spiked maces on their band photos, but they simply do not have much substance to back it up. Even for underground black metal with 4-track demo quality, their material is not recorded in a ripping and appropriately raw fashion. The drums are too up-front in the mix and the guitar buzzes somewhat harmlessly in the background. The songs cover a fairly broad spectrum of paces and here and there a medium paced part with a decent groove hints at the possibility of more potential, but overall this is raw black metal by the numbers. _Inhale Zyklon-B_ is no overly blatant rip-off of any established act and there surely are worse bands around, but neither do Ornaments of Sin establish any atmosphere or identity nor do they really impress on any other level. Don't ask me why they just got signed by Christhunt Productions -- the quality of the music on this release can't be the reason and should only appeal to those who have way more CD shelve space to fill than what's necessary for the truly noteworthy stuff.

(article published 30/10/2003)


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