Inferno Requiem - _Gloomy Night Stories_
(Hell Ambassador Records, 2008)
by: Quentin Kalis (6 out of 10)
ChthoniC may be Taiwan's best known black metal export, but those not enamoured with the more symphonic and accessible strain of black metal may find solace in the bestial cacophony of Inferno Requiem.

It barely need be said that this is yet another one man missive, but sole member Fog Blashyrkh has thankfully enlisted the help of Lord Superion on drums. Mr Blashyrkh has opted for a "wall of sound" approach, erecting a near impenetrable barrier of distortion, embedding the barest traces of melody and rhythm in riffs more tightly packed than a Tokyo train at rush hour.

For reasons that may or may not be beyond his control, he has recorded this album at two separate studios, and that is the likely cause of the different sounds on the album. This can be clearly heard at the beginning of the album: the second track is noisier, with less distinct melody, more prominent tin-can drums, whilst the opener has been recorded at a higher volume level.

This does result in a rather incongruous album, even if the songs recorded at different venues follow a similar motif. The songs are also a tad too long for his raucous and typically rudimentary black metal structures. Inferno Requiem is not a particularly poor representative, but there is room for a lot of work, and being a band from Taiwan may provide a novelty value that prolongs its stay in a stereo.


(article published 13/7/2008)

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