Release DetailsLABEL Displeased Records
RELEASED ON 4/28/2005
posted on 5/2005 By:
Ten scene points to anyone who can remember this band. For some baffling reason, Resuscitator have been wearing their USBM stripes since the dawn of the scene, yet have never even flirted with the cult status that Wind Of The Black Mountains, Profanatica/Havohej, Demoncy and Judas Iscariot have enjoyed amongst black metal’s internet nerds. In truth, their ’96 Wild Rags debut Iniciation remains an obscure gem in USBM’s graven throne, an exercise in creepy dissonance and quirky atonal chords that celebrated everything dark and impetuous about a scene still basking in Mayhem’s triumphs. While I have not heard any of their work apart from that momentous EP, it appears as though they have developed their tangential, wandering style into something more developed and deliberate. Somehow, it doesn’t always work, Resuscitator haphazardly attempting to juggle nefarious Autopsy/Abscess doom with occultic death metal leanings akin to latter day Mortuary Drape, Floridian death metal and a touch of speedy Swede-leaning black metal ala Sorhin. When it works though, Resuscitator manage to strike a favorable comparison to a host of Greek and Czechian metal favorites, summoning their curious ability to employ melody in a hypnotic, entrancing, ritualistic manner, epitomizing black metal’s capacity for ethereal, magical expression.
Much kudos goes to Resuscitator for employing melody in an exemplarily tasteful fashion, penning riffs that largely echo a sentiment championed by Treblinka/Tiamat, Samael, Necromantia and other such ancient cults. To be sure, the nature of the work on display throughout this record isn’t particularly American at all, deriving its inspiration from traditions that typified the Greek and early Scandinavian scenes (Thou Shalt Suffer, Old Funeral, Treblinka, etc.) instead. The record opens with an Autopsy-like dirge, swelling into a sinister, ominously melodic, martial riff that bears a distinctly latter day Bathory feel, bizarrely shifting into a brief torrent of blastbeats and a thorough white noise interlude to close the rest of the song. The Mars Volta of black metal?! “In The Night’s Silence” sees them plowing Morbid Angel type terrain before seguing into deliberate, calculated early Rotting Christ contemplation. By “Blessings Of Satan” it is glaringly obvious that this is not the same greasy set of teenagers that snarled their way through Iniciation, the initial Nihilist by way of Possessed riffage wrestling with frostbitten Swedish black metal and more off kilter melodic moments that wouldn’t be out of place on a Hail record. Meanwhile, “Father Of Obscurity” extrapolates the Autopsy parallels, a misanthropically oppressive viscuous spew of magma that oozes out at a sluggish pace, alternating foreboding, ponderous chords with blastbeat sections and frenetic meandering Varathron leads. To be fair, this track radiates an unsettlingly ritualistic feel that almost recalls masters like Root and Torr. Really cool stuff!
Quality starts to drop off a little at this point, Resuscitator hovering dangerously near norsecore with “As We Conquer” and passages of “Messengers of the Immortal Throne” (the word “Immortal” ironically hinting towards the primary source of inspiration here) as well as making the dubious mistake of writing a tediously forgettable, somewhat pretentious concluding number which, like the opener, stiflingly fades into squalls of white noise. For what it’s worth, Resuscitator have managed to craft a record that shows great reverence to heroes of a bygone age, forsaking the speed for speed’s sake/grim for grim’s sake ethic that permeates much black metal today, scoffing at the Burzum and Darkthrone clones that litter black metal’s artistically barren landscape. While the production could have benefited from being a little dirtier (ala Root, Hail, Crux)- the guitar sound is GREAT and warm though the bass needs to be dirtier/louder and the drums sound a little overproduced, the record affirms Resuscitator’s relevance in a scene populated with two-bit American bands, most of which survive exclusively on internet hype generated on message boards and the IRC. While this is far from as brashly naïve, adventurous or left-of-center as Iniciation, I would still eagerly recommend it to fans of ancient melodic death metal.
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