Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Ill Omen : "Enthroning the Bonds of Abhorrence"

If you can get past the poor production, which harkens back to the kvlt as hell days of black metal then you will find a gem here. This album is really dark and moody , not just spitting a bunch of blast beasts in your face, but adorning the music with an appropriate amount of the standard black metal trappings. This Australian  band released this album on Nuclear War Now.

All of the songs are numbered rather than named. The third one is particularly scathing and should satisfy even the heaviest of souls.The vocals are interesting as they are screamed , but with a rasp that sounds more like a ring wraith than I have ever heard the human voice convey. These guys are bent on creating dark and evil sounding music and have done themselves proud. I would expect something like this to more likely come out of France.The fourth song almost takes on a more traditional metal feel, if it were not for the ring wraith screaming from the tomb.

The ambiance of tremolo picked guitar works even better when the vocals dip down into more guttural places. I have read comparisons to Ash Borer and I don't hear it as there is very little leanings towards post -rock though they capture some interesting guitar tones. There is a Circle of  Ouroborus feel as the album progresses , at other times it feels like Burzum here and there, with the lingering sensation of Depressed suicidal black metal.The 8th songs features the vocals shifting into more of a chant and the metal meter picking up on the guitars.

They clang into a more blaze in the northern noise on the 8th song. The drums are really the main hindrance with the over all sound as the cymbals sound dead and make static sounds when the crash rides out. At the slower speed of the tenth song this problem is not as noticeable. In fact I like there overall sound at the slower pace you can take your time and hear how different this web they have woven is. They darkly build the slower section, til I am waiting for the blast, and I have grown tired of blast beats. They of course show up in the song's final three moments.

On the ninth song there is the moan of clean vocals. The cavernous lower ones are pretty haunting. This song is more build up than not as they drone on with this for the first three minutes of the song. Normally these guys don't go as crazy as some in making the songs sprawl out. The more sung or bellowed vocals is really unique even when they are defaulting to a more typical blasting drone.

It's hard to say if I would like this better with better production and if better production would hurt the ambiance of the sound they have created. By the end of the album it is not as much of an issue with me as I accept it like I did early Burzm.I'll give this album a 9 and room to grwo on me, if production doesn't botter you and you want a weirder take on the cvlt sound check this out.

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