Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Black Metal History Month - Ketzer: "Starless"
"White Eyes" has groove and punches with authority, but is so melodic with the guitar pouring out hints of blues in it's masterful approach to solos. They touch on that middle path coming closer to death metal, when the vocals dip down into more of a lower growl. Their bassist plays a much larger role in their sound than the bulk black metal bands. "Shaman's Dance" has a similar mood as Slayer's serial killer love songs. This song is dark enough to be black metal, if Watain is still black metal as it comes from a similar sonic place. While they get pegged as being blackened thrash, they don't strike me as being all that trashy until halfway into this song and then the dissonant tension they hold the groove with slightly recalls Voivod. They throw melodic break downs in when you are not expecting them. What strikes me as black metal in a song like this is the passion put into the music. Black metal tends of convey a greater emotional range than thrash or death metal.
There is no clean singing on this album, but plenty of clean guitar tones. One of the more organic sounding tones opens up "Earthborn". The guitar solos blazes in serving the song with melody rather than just shredding. The vocals on this song and most of the album are a hateful midrange rasp. The wretched undertones sit juxtaposed against the brighter triumphant mood. A spoken word invocation of some kind surfaces here as well. The album comes to a close with the instrumental "Limbo" which is not really metal at all but some kind of 70's rock jam. I can appreciate, but think it falls short of the heights the rest of the album achieved. This album really strong otherwise, I'll give it a 9.5.