In My Shiver - _Delicate Poison_
(Hypnotic Dirge Records, 2014)
by: Chaim Drishner (2 out of 10)
We usually dig Italian bands; they own a certain irrefutable charm, tagged with a singular sonic aroma indigenous to the boot-shaped country, a land of tumultuous history and mystery galore.

However, In My Shiver are an anomaly; the band offer nothing in terms of the Italian grandeur and sonic depravity we're accustomed to, and while they use a dual approach to their music -- that is to say both harsher black metal tones and more laid back depressive rock maneuvers -- neither is convincing or captivating enough, and when combined, the hybrid adds nothing unique and is devoid of an added value of any kind.

The confused texts, written in somewhat bad English (again, why the hell not in the band's own mother tongue, Italian?!) contribute to the goofiness of the sonic structure and are hard to follow (some will even make you cringe), but the weakest point of the album is the uninspired and lame songwriting and its ultimate execution. Using rehashed ideas and some exceptionally bad song structuring / song aesthetics, the alleged brooding atmosphere the band wanted to create here has missed its mark by miles.

Both black metal and dark rock had never sounded so tedious and powerless, until this album came into being. Some flimsy, superficial musical material is on display here; that kind of music was passable just because of the popularity it had gained in recent years, and the reawakening of the whole depressive / shoegaze / dark rock trend; mix that with some dubious "metal" elements and you've got what is known in 'hipster language' post-black metal.

Not that there's anything wrong with post-black metal per se; genres, styles, scenes, aesthetics and trends are, in themselves, neither a positive nor a negative notion, for the mere act of pigeonholing a band's style has never diminished nor enhanced said band's music. It's the music that does that, never mind the path it choses to tread. Here, on _Delicate Poison_, the music is just not good enough. Doesn't matter where you look and how deep you may want to explore this album (you probably won't be interested in that), all you hear is a musical weakling, devoid of ideas, energy or passion; an emotionless dead horse that will leave you apathetic and empty.

In My Shiver know how to handle their instruments technically, but time and again they miss the target, failing to deliver even a single good track. It's either they don't posses the know-how, or are perfectly oblivious to terms such as atmosphere and emotions in music, both created and emanated, or they were too busy pleasing a wider audience with a musical product that verges on being pop music, and not very good pop music either.

Hypnotic Dirge Records, a label we respect for its hard work, vision and excellent releases, should invest its hard earned cash in other, better, musical ensembles; rumor has it there are plenty of those out there.


(article published 16/10/2014)

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