Misery's Omen "s/t" CD
Here's some brilliant raw black metal from this Australian trio that's very much in line with what I love the most about the genre. This CD contains the band's four-song demo from 2000 along with their now out of print "To Worship Stone Gods" 7" from last year. It's rugged and primal, but in a tactful manner, there's plenty of speed and aggression, but there's also a great deal of dissonance, melody, and feeling... and to top it all off they experiment with some very calm passages where they utilize doom-laden riffing or clean guitars and slow, melodic solos. The vocals are great raspy snarls, occasionally venturing into lower growls or twisted high shrieks (barely hitting on "singing", but not quite). The songwriting is just awesome, though. I love the tempo variation and the diversity, and there's a lot of emotion here, which really makes a huge difference. And very few of the riffs sound "generic". Sure, there's some tremolo picking and some fast chord progressions that sound familiar, and some of the plodding midpaced rhythms aren't exactly anything new, but the way they handle things and the general mood here is definitely interesting and creative. The recording is really good. The bass tone is fucking awesome, which is nice because not only can you always hear the bass, but the bass performance is incredibly effective - accentuating the rhythms when necessary and acting as its own lead instrument elsewhere (I'm talking to a Steve Harris level here). The drums are nice and natural with a good amount of resonance, the guitars have that cold sort of distorted ring to them, and the vocals are in the center of the mix, slightly out front. The only thing I don't like is that the tracks from the 7" are mastered a lot louder than the tracks from the demo, and there's a lot of peaking to distortion involved... which is a bit bothersome. I can't really tell what's going on visually as the imagery is all very dark and abstract. It looks cool though, and I like the somewhat typical black metal looking band logo as well. The lyrics look like they might be handwritten (in strange lettering) and seem to deal with bleak, possibly apocalyptic themes as well as well as referencing "elder gods" and concepts of that nature. "Still waters ripple as distant whispers transcend into dreams, To our inner spirit calling to awaken thy lost identity, Muses sing song, versed from mythical times, To rekindle sacred inner knowledge, Arcane teachings, now for eons banished, Oh forgotten totem, though graven idols vanquished..." This band needs to do a full-length immediately. This is very promising material, and they could easily become one of my favorite black metal bands ever if they continue along this path. (8/10)
Running time - 27:54, Tracks: 6
[Notable tracks: Desolate Winds of Mars, Mortalia's Abyss, Ashes Smoulder]
Bindrune Recordings - http://www.crionicmind.org/bindrune/
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