Of Human Bondage - _The Goat Sessions Vol. 1_
(Sinister Sounds Inc, 2005)
by: T. DePalma (2 out of 10)
This is without a doubt one of the most academic and derelict albums I've heard yet, attaching itself to a genre that already begs for amputation.

The first thing that I found puzzling about this release was the band's emphasis on a well known cadre of horror and noir directors and novelists in their "hails" list. Odd to me, because as far as _The Goat Sessions_ goes, it is devoid of any atmosphere or passages that remind one of anything to do with the names Cronenberg, Argento, Lynch, Barker, Kubrick or the psychedelic horror-rock band Goblin, either in syle or spirit. The real nod ought to go to Nocturno Culto and Rob Darken, who wrote this album years ago; granted they didn't make shallow use of film samples and perforate ornamentation of keys and clean guitars -- which is why they are still worth listening to today -- but that would be giving things away. You see, because Of Human Bondage blends the most blatantly lifted characteristics of Darkthrone or Graveland with an occasional break for death metal tremolo picking or stoner-rock dirges, it is supposed to be something special. In reality, this mixing up sounds like Anselmo era Necrophagia.

Where other groups expand on black metal's hallmarks, this group simply imitates them and then repackages and accessorizes with purposeless and underdeveloped concepts that are crammed into to each track. Incidentally, almost all nine tracks range under three minutes in length, the total playing time here being a mere twenty four minutes.

It may be that this is more negligence than a calculated farce, and that in time OHB may hone their influences into something more mature and resembling their own; but at this point, exploring it publicly is a waste of everyone's time. Back to the drawing board, as they say, but count me out of experiencing the next volume, should it ever surface.

Contact: http://www.sinistersounds.ca

(article published 27/4/2005)

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