Release DetailsLABEL Southern Lord Records
RELEASED ON 4/3/2007
posted on 5/2007 By:
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrgh, blllllurrrrrrrrrrggggghhhhhh, whhheeeeeeeeeeeee, burp, waaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, hiccup, yeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahargle, blech.
Yes, the score is correct. Holy fuck.
Here is a re-issue of a 1995 “Best of…” compilation from one of the so-called legendary ambient/black metal bands of the early Norwegian scene, Abruptum. Veiled in mystery with supposed self mutilation and torture used in the recording studio, Evil Genius was/is a collection of tracks from the Hexum Galaem Zelog and The Satanist Tunes (both 1990) demos, plus the Evil 7" EP (1991), and depending on how you look at it, it's ether a truly twisted form of aptly named ritualistic ambiance or complete bullshit. I tend to think a little of both.
Duo IT and ALL apparently were members of the Satanic Black Circle that rose to notoriety in the early 90s but a little like Mayhem, the reverence apparently given to this band is more based on their personalities than their music. The result is that this collection highlights the band’s beginnings as a pretty raw death metal band and then chronologically shows the band’s descent into recorded chaos and recorded self mutilation.
Evil Genius actually starts with somewhat coherent almost death or doom metal primal rawness, deeper growls and plodding, scrawling guitars that could be an early Stockholm death metal demo as the first four ultra rough tracks (taken from the Hexum Galaem Zelog demo) have no recognizable black metal or ambient elements at all. However, track five, “Corpus In As Trahere Abincere”, signals the start of the IT and ALL’s descent into sonic madness; structure-less feedback and noise layered with IT wailing, shrieking, gargling, retching and generally sounding like an incoherent, possessed drunk. “Feci Factum Sanguine Gladios Made Fieri Factus” and “Tortus Torquero Colla Tumentes" seem to be the epochs of this approach with just a mindless, maddening noise and yells. Again, to some this maybe the very pinnacle and even origin of the depressive black metal genre fronted nowadays by the likes of Leviathan, as it truly, truly is disturbing on a purely audible level. However, music it is not.
The last two tracks, “Hostes Orco Hostium Legiones Dis Manibus Pacis Ruptores Ultioni” and “Unimum, Mentem Alcis Juventutem Largitionibus, Hostes Addimicandum, Commotis Exita Sacris Thyias”, taken from the Evil EP, are the most deranged of the bunch, with synths and programming thrown into the already chaotic miasma of now inhumanly guttural voices and simply atonal feedback and seemingly random notes.
So why the 0,0,0 score? Well, to be truthful, this simply isn’t ‘music’ that can be merely encapsulated into scores. It sounds like ass, but occult, ritualistic dalliances in a recording studio isn’t ‘nicely’ produced and as far as musicianship goes, 5 monkeys, a drum and a guitar in a studio could probably come up with more actual riffs and structure than this. However, one has to believe that Abruptum may not actually be 'music' per say, but more a psychotic, cathartic outlet for two twisted minds with some instruments laying about that comes across as far more convincing and truly 'sick' than say the recent Diagnose: Lebensgefahr release, and if that’s the case then this is indeed, Evil Genius.
You will have to decide that for yourself.
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