Satan's Penguins - _Birds of Darkness_
(Heretic Sound, 2001)
by: Pedro Azevedo (7.5 out of 10)
On the front cover, four shrouded penguins stand against the sunset. "Of Satan's evil Penguins you must beware", they warn beside their symbol inside: a simple symmetric composition with three 6s, an inverted cross and two large penguins side by side within a circle. If this and the band name itself don't seem ludicrous enough to you, then have a look at some of the song titles: "An Evil Shade of Pink", "The Return of the Undead Smurfs (Gargamel's Revenge II)" and "Mutant Ninja Penguins (From Hell)". Can this get any weirder? Hell yeah. This is a band that insists on sharing the credits on two songs with Vivaldi; a band whose members are Killerpenguin, Monsieur Malice, Killhammer and blonde vocalist Slayerprincess; and yet, perhaps paradoxically, a band who -can- play interesting, serious-sounding black metal, repeatedly belting out "Penguins, arise -- the day has come" with grim conviction upon the doomy riff that opens the album during highlight "Antartic Winterstorm". Doom, folk and classical influences are all occasionally heard in the band's black metal, and much as their imagery and some of the lyrics can be hilarious, musically these jesters still deliver a generally convincing album. A few tracks do drag a bit at times, though, and some more of the aggression shown on the final track would have been welcome elsewhere on the album. Even though this is being released by a small underground label, the booklet has been printed on good quality paper (better than you usually get from professional labels), the production is quite adequate and the musicianship competent. A rather witty, interesting and worthwhile record, apart from the insufferable ending of "Mutant Ninja Penguins (From Hell)". I recommend you give these guys a chance.


(article published 14/1/2002)

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