posted on 2/2008 By:
There are many things to be said about supreme black metal and the gamut of emotions it can stir. Whether a band aims to strike a cold fear within the listener, to stoke a fire of individualistic pride and glory, or to simply thrash your sack to high hell, the top-shelf stuff should affect the listener on some level beyond mere aesthetics. Churn the gut, shock the spine, melt the face, crush the soul (only to rebuild), awaken the unconscious...
So what can be said about philsophically stunted, derivitive regurgitations like Silva Negra's Epocha, other than "Don't waste your time, buy something else"? Not much, but the show must go on.
Of course, that recommendation is only for those with a low tolerance for ineffective, raw black metal. So if you haven't met your quota yet, Epocha contains some micro-nuggets of enjoyment for your minimal pleasure. "Neodpustil" and "Citadela" contain some sickening, d-beat inspired riffing, the likes of which make all-too-brief cameos throughout. If this snarl played a more prominent role, some credit would undoubtedly be due to these Czech grimballs. However, the band prefers to nail themselves to a cross built from incessant, faceless tremelo picking and wobbly blasting. Exacerbating the weak riffs, drummer Pestkrist sounds like he's playing from the perch of a stairwell, teetering on the precipice of a mighty tumble. The demo-quality production doesn't help his case (or even mask his weakness), and instead furnishes him with a snare sound that makes St. Anger sound like Symbolic.
Worse, the band clearly don't have the chops to play at their chosen velocity, yet insist on forcing their way through the album like a fat kid wedging himself into a tube slide. The mid-paced passages show potential, but this is the band's fourth album, and using the word "potential" at this stage of their career is nothing more than pandering via faint praise. And pandering to the cabal that slavishly worships this stagnance benefits none.
Silva Nigra's crappily applied clown paint, ten-inch spiked gauntlet abuse, and "Total Antichrist Propaganda" are painfully passe at this stage of the game; the bloody puddle of shock value dried up years ago. Frankly, the black metal scene would only grow stronger if clones of this ilk were shipped to a frostbitten island off the coast of Antarctica, where they can bathe in their cesspool of retarded adolescence and aesthetic masturbation without encroaching on the rest of the world. Blithely unaware of their lack of contribution to their chosen genre as they satiate their translyvanian hunger, they can mash away at their instruments and play dress-up to their hearts content. Wishful thinking...as sadly, they're not on an island. They are buzzing in my skull, and my skull is telling me "No, dude. No."
Rebellious satanic art is best left to practitioners with the wherewithal to create something compelling...as well as vocalists with a delivery powerful enough that it can't be easily replicated while doing the dishes/scratching my balls through my flannel pants. A hidden gem, this album is not.
Register to post comments.