Release DetailsLABEL Infernus Rex
RELEASED ON 6/27/2005
Universal Hate Decades Ultimatum
posted on 10/2005 By:
Vociferian play clattering, raw, and fast-paced black metal that manages to avoid the Norse-core tag, but that is certainly composed of elements not wholly belonging to the genre. In a peculiar move, the band has picked out a vocalist more suited to the death metal genre, and the lower, thicker vocal style adds an interesting element to their sound. Furthermore, some of the slower sections are stylistically akin to death metal breakdowns. It isn’t really blackened death (or “deathened” black, depending on your preferred term). Rather, it is raw black metal with some unconventional parts, and it makes an enjoyable, if not essential, addition to a BM collection.
The songwriting isn’t anything amazing, but it is perfectly competent. The tracks tend to meander, but not a negative sense of the word. Rather, the transitions between faster, thrashy riffs and the droning, slower ones that are such a staple of raw black metal are flowing; Vociferian wisely avoid jarring transitions. This leads me to my next observation, that the band seem capable of performing several different subgenres of black metal. On the fourth cut, the band flirts with the melodic style set forth by acts like Immortal. Elsewhere, they thrash like Destroyer 666 and groove like Darkthrone, though it would be silly to suggest that they do any of this with the same amount of skill as the aforementioned acts. Vociferian are certainly third tier stuff; good, just not especially recommendable. Anyhow, this 32 minute outing is basically an EP, considering the fact that the final track is 16 minutes of looped scraping noises, a cut that I would advise the listener to ignore if he ends up obtaining this recording. If Vociferian are aiming for corpsepaint cred, I’m not sure why they included this number.
Technical skill is not a requisite quality for a black metal musician to have, and Vociferian are merely decent. The guitar playing is pretty tight, but nonetheless pretty simple. The drummer could not be described as tight, though sloppy drumming adds to the aesthetic, and I do not mean this in a facetious way. Indeed, mistakes often add to the brilliance of a drum performance, especially in the genres where musicianship is looser. Grading the musicianship on this release is essentially a pointless activity. Likewise, the treble-heavy production is not a problem; if you consider yourself a black metal fan and dislike poor production, I suggest that you reclassify yourself.
On the whole, Universal Hate Decades Ultimatum is an interesting recording, and the slightly unorthodox playing style might be interesting for some readers. However, while the band avoids mediocrity, they are not especially recommendable. If you are a diehard fan of the genre, this will be appealing. If not, your opinion won’t be swayed by this record.
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