Tuesday, June 16, 2015
False : "Untitled"
I have been hunting for this album for a few months now. It was being hailed as been the best American black metal album of the year and it very well may be just due to the fact there is not much worthwhile black metal coming out of the states this year. On the very song the vocals didn't sit well with me .They don't sound screamed as much as they sound like someone if gasping for breath really up close on the microphone there is no power at all to them. So when I find out they have a girl singing for them the lack of power and gasping for air makes sense. The guitar tone and keyboards sound well layered and the grit to the guitar has their own sound. The drumming sounds a little thin, like the drummer is barely touching his kit with his sticks.There is one part where they lock in for more of a galloping chug that works well. But the album is going to need to pull it together to impress me as from the first song I am underwhelmed.
Harsh vocals in any genre might not be sung, but they do need to serve the song. Here the vocals are not placed anywhere. They seem to have not thought put into them in regards of how they should work in the context of the rest of the song. The guitars have some little punches on "the Deluge" but are not really weaving together much in terms of songwriting. This is not to say they aren't working hard to try and do this , its just not happening. The cool riffs alone don't make a good song theory is in full effect. The synths on this song remind me of how the keyboards accent "Altars of Madness".
There is a tighter attack to the title track, the vocals actually work with the song, so I am not sure what they were doing the first two songs. When she rasps the word master it reminds me of Gullom. Her lyrics are just intelligible enough to create goofy misunderstandings, at one point it sounds like she says "the master is a gnome". Yet even at its best this album doesn't seize you attention and I still find myself tuning it out.They get off to a good start on "Entropy". In the final six minutes they touch on a melodic section that shows promise. It's sections like these they need to expand up in order to propel their song writing towards awesome.
"Hedgecraft" really has its work cut out for it if it is going to tip this album towards being decent.They go full blast ahead and the vocal work better with the music than earlier in the album. One of their strengths that they displayed earlier in the album where they lock into a chug resurfaces here. Her vocals have a more convincing snarl to them as well. Earlier Nachtmystium might be a good point of reference to some of their more grooving sections. Their attack is More one dimensional than not, which is ok unless this is taking place in a song that is over ten minutes long. They hold off yet again to introduce any melodic elements until the final few minutes and even those are short lived when they give way to blasting. The hype is almost heavier than this album. Sure it's a novelty to have a girl singing in your black metal band, but who really care if she can barely hack it . This album is not a good argument for women being equals when it comes to playing metal. Or maybe it is cause the drummer is a guy and almost on part with her. The guitar sound is pretty mean, so if that is all it takes to sell you on a band then you are in luck, they do have some moments and have promise, enough promise that I'll round this up to a 7.5, but if this is on someone's album of the year list hold them suspect for being false.