Aborym | ‘With No Human Intervention’
It is said that you never get a second chance to make a first impression, but as we all know, thats not the case with good old cd’s. In fact, its often the case that the ones that made you wince with the first spin are now the most cherished, albeit after a six month period gathering dust before being randomly inserted into the cd player only to reveal their true greatness. So much acclaim has been heaped upon this band, from the fanatical response to their “Kali Yuga Bizzarre” debut forward to the much praised “Fire Walk With Us!” which had hacks everywhere wetting themselves in appreciation. I havent bothered to get their material until now, so this is getting listened to with fresh ears and little idea of development. This stuff isnt what I normally go for, and the modern day futuristic takes on black metal do mostly nothing for me, with a few exceptions. While some of those who are still playing metal at this juncture are now incorporating all kinds of wierd and wonderful sounds (Arcturus, Dodheimsgard666 etc), its all done within a more or less tentative way. This band however takes that whole aesthetic a stage further again by unashamedly flaunting rave culture and music as part of their whole musical project.
Sometimes it works and sometimes it doenst. The instrumental “Does Not Compute” for example offers a respite from the programmed blast frenzy around it by offering a drum n bass workout akin to what Force of Hate or Sifloo do (well), and though yes, its drum n bass, it does have an entertaining beat and a nice cold mechanical feel to it. But thats hardly the yardstick by which to judge this cd. More often we’re in Anaal Nathrakh territory – pulverising drum machine blasts, intricate guitar lines and an absolute quagmire of keyboard and synth lines. All this is peppered with omnipresent sound effects from spacey bleeps and noises to more bizzarre things like car horns and telephones. But the crux of all this is that for all the massive amount of praise this band gets – the actual metal in here is really quite tired and standard black metal that anyone else could spew out. It only sounds so ultra extreme because of the drum machine, and as we have learned from Mortician and many others, too much of this is simply a bore.
Atilla’s vocals however are good, when they can be heard properly, though they are not as articulate or half as good as on his masterwork. Still, they do add that inhuman feel that the band are striving for, and as such do their job well enough. I’ll admit this cd does have a ‘feel’; like at the start of “The Triumph”, which is about the most solid riff on the cd, and nicely epic. Elsewhere however the band are just too keen to indulge on the technoloy, and I feel it is to the detriment of the overall musical picture. Still, there actually is a LOT on this to envelope the listener; the ideas, the daring and the head messing that this band do are deserving of praise if only for their sheer audacity in trying to persue an artistic avenue that few others are wholeheartedly doing. I just wish they would give more precedence to actual songwriting, because if they could do this and then apply all the trickery, we would really have something here. As it stands its a bit of an overlong, convoluted mess. But a very good one.
3.7/ 5 - Earl Grey ::: 13/04/03