Sculptor - _Dark October_
(Backfire Productions, 2008)
by: Quentin Kalis (4 out of 10)
Ugh. It appears that depressive black metal, such as this, is now the preferred choice of self-styled misanthropes, replacing even shoddier interpretations of Darkthrone. This is closer to doom than most, and many riffs are pure doom. As is the norm with these solo escapades, the music -- riffs, melodies, structure -- is basic, the drumming rudimentary and sounding much like it was programmed, and production is expectedly unpolished. He also makes the mistake of attempting clean vocals, which are not convincing and sound as if he is out of his depth. All the lyrics are in Russian, but of no real import as most vocal delivery is through mid-range snarls and shrieks. Some predictably Shining-esque cleanly-struck arpeggios surface, but thankfully he avoids any hint of inexorable and unmemorable ambience. At least the booklet, with its stark black-and-white photos, sketches and watercolours of evocative nature scenes is worth a look. This does not change the fact that Sculptor is really just another cog in the DSBM / black doom machine that shows very little individuality, and _Dark October_ would have been better suited as a demo.


(article published 2/4/2010)

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