En Raga Sul
posted on 2/2009 By:
The opening few notes of Medusa’s En Raga Sul, and in fact the first few songs initially sound fairly promising. “Ah, this is an intriguing 1:22 intro track,” I thought to myself, listening to “Rain Un Thunder.” Melvins-esque detuned riffage, authentically German-accented film audio sampling and shrieking to beat the band – throw in a little thunder for atmosphere and you’ve got yourself off to a nice start. Furiously, track two comes and goes. Forget verse-chorus-verse; this one just goes. Brevity is all well and good, but these songs seem to be over before they really even begin.
It deserves mention that three-fifths of Medusa is also in unlistenable “hard-gore” (not the ‘70s satanic porno flick, but hardcore/gore) band Racebannon. I am not familiar aside from their MySpace offerings, but Medusa sounds a bit less frantic/insane. Just a bit.
After songs one and two, the remainder of the tracks should be good in theory, combining more blood-curdling horror movie audio clips and vocalist Scott Van Buren’s throat-liquefying screeches with guitar sometimes chugging and other times clanging with hardcore reverb. Sadly for Medusa, this is not the case. The songs here are underdeveloped, with much emphasis on the caustic, abrasive sound that groups have been known to substitute for quality. Other gimmicks come and go. A persistent reliance on the ghastly horror samples scattered about the album should act as a pillar but comes off as compensatory.
Perhaps the worst gimmick rears its ugly head on “Throne of God.” The song uses a cheesy vocal effect that sounds exactly like Galadriel, the Lady of the Wood in Lord of the Rings when she contemplates taking the Ring of Power: “In place of a Dark Lord, you would have A QUEEN! NOT DARK, BUT BEAUTIFUL AND TERRIBLE AS THE DAWN!!!” Seriously. Check it out. And it happens occasionally throughout the remainder of the record. I can’t listen to this.
With an average song length of a lean two minutes and a collective length of half an hour, En Raga Sul fails to satisfy in many ways. The songs never grow into anything memorable and the same is true of the album as a whole. The best part of my day today was when my iTunes progressed from Medusa to Megadeth. Ah, sweet Megadeth.
But, really. Skip this one.
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