Blood Stained Dusk
Black Faith Inquisition
posted on 1/2009 By:
I felt obligated to be the one to review Blood Stained Dusk from the get-go. How many other chances will I get to cover a metal band that hails from my home state of Alabama, and a black metal band no less? Unfortunately, rather than filling me with Dixie pride that an outfit from here could actually get signed to Moribund Records and release respectable music, all that Black Faith Inquisition has done is re-affirm my belief that black metal simply wasn’t meant to come from the South (although I was already pretty sure after hearing Goatwhore). While by no means a complete failure, Blood Stained Dusk’s third album is a flawed, unfocused affair that buries the brief glimpses of promise it shows with over-ambition and muddled songwriting.
These fellows seriously need to learn the meaning of the phrase “trim the fat.” On the music side of things, Blood Stained Dusk favor a modern, symphonic style of black metal, which isn’t a bad thing in itself except the keyboards sound more like auditory fluff rather than any sort of compositional contribution. A perfect example of this is the boring and cheesy keyboard interlude that interrupts the tail end of “Of Wolve’s Blood,” and while a pretty nice solo saves the song’s conclusion from complete mediocrity, this sort of awkward transition spearheaded by keyboards is a common find on Black Faith Inquisition. This album also inexplicably features Pest of former Gorgoroth fame handling vocal duties, and you’d be hard-pressed to tell his performance apart from any of the legions of second-tier black metal bands out there. The vocals here are serviceable, but considering this guy turned in one of the most evil showings ever on Pentagram I wasn’t really impressed with his contributions here in the least.
The main issue encountered on Black Faith Inquisition is simply a lack of real direction to the songs. Tracks like “Coven Of The Dying” and “Conquering The Avarice of Mortality,” despite having some decent moments individually, are crippled by poor transitions and an instrumental attack that is overly busy. You’ll hear grim tremolo guitars one second, noodly bass the next, then tinkling piano, and then clean vocals… It’s all just too much at once, and nothing leaves a real impression. The guitars fail to achieve any atmosphere and the drums add little in the way of intensity or hypnotic qualities to the sonic picture.
The album’s structural problems are also compounded by its long length; six of the seven tracks run at nine minutes or over, ushered in by a totally useless and excessive intro that runs for almost five minutes. If Blood Stained Dusk had taken more time to develop their individual passages and tighten up their songs a little more, this album could have been greatly improved. Instead, it becomes a boring album with some OK moments. "Eve Of Maelstrom" in particular has a really nice melodic midsection that actually gets the opportunity to stretch its legs for a little while, but it's merely a temporary break from the album's topsy-turvy nature. A pretty banal production job doesn't help matters either.
I did my best to give my fellow Alabamians their fair shake, but in the end I just can't summon much excitement for Black Faith Inquisition. These guys have some instrumental ability and are loaded to the teeth with ideas, but have failed in crafting a set of songs that I desire to listen to repeatedly. A complex album with lots of different things going on does not equate to depth, and despite its varied, dense structuring, the absence of atmosphere and coherent songwriting renders Blood Stained Dusk’s effort a forgettable one in the black metal scene. You can find much better stuff on Moribund’s roster, so save your cash for that.
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