Balseraph - _Balseraph_
by: Adam Lineker (2.5 out of 5)
Through a muffled and unbalanced production, Balseraph perform an ambient form of black metal that gives a few stylistic nods to Cradle of Filth; for example, vocalist Beleth roars and spits his distortion vocals at differing multitracked pitches. Balseraph do well when everything seems to come together; it is here that their compositions reach the highest levels of melodic strength. Unfortunately they are undermined by the execution of the music. The aforementioned production detracts from the musicianship on offer to the point of obscuring what the guitarists are doing. However, there are places where it is apparent that Balseraph are musically capable, particularly the work of drummer Seance, and the poor production levels are forgivable; this is, after all, a demo. The biggest problems Balseraph have are with the song writing, as much of what they perform comes across as dull and uninspired, particularly when they resort to long passages of bludgeoning riffage. They also commit the musically abusive crime of giving keyboardist Ambriel nothing to do. It is obvious that they have spirit and passion for the music, but they have work to do before they become a more accomplished proposition.


(article published 16/3/2003)

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