The Beast of the Apocalypse - _A Voice From the Four Horns of the Golden Altar_
(Transcendental Creations, 2009)
by: Quentin Kalis (8.5 out of 10)
This is the kind of album that will dichotomise opinion between those who believe that this epitomises the virtues of black metal and those who will maintain that it highlights its flaws. As can be inferred from the rating, I am firmly on the side of the former.

Drawing down the spirit of Beherit and Archgoat through a mix of rasping vocals, simplistic, no-frills and highly repetitive riffs, programmed drums, and rounded off by a muddied production that sounds as if it were recorded in a cave in the Frisian countryside, may sound like a Myspace black metal band -- but nothing could be further from the truth. The production is deliberately lo-fi, not due to ineptness. Varied tempos mitigate any sense of monotony that could otherwise arise, and one cannot easily tell that the drums are programmed due to the murky production. The end result is an utterly absorbing album that evokes that proto-black feel without feeling like a superfluous rip-off or embarrassingly dated.

This will be extolled by self-consciously grim kiddies who believe black metal died in 1994, and for once they will be worth listening to.


(article published 2/4/2010)

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