Rebirth: Metamorphosing Into Godhood
posted on 2/2004 By:
On the one hand, this is a pure recording of a pure death metal band. On the other hand it's a somewhat bland recording of a death metal band. On the even other hand, this is a pathetically satanic death metal band. That last bit irks because I can, unfortunately, understand the words. The second bit irks because bland and death metal are two terms I don't like to place beside each other in reference to a band. The first part though, is the saving grace, after a fashion.
When I say it's "pure", I mean it's undiluted by a lot of studio effects. It's cleaned, but not enhanced. Or if it is the enhancements, they really suck. So you are hearing the band play, and nothing much else. This lends an elegance to the record, a simplicity that causes you to focus on the performances and the songwriting a little more closely. It also adds a little excitement because you feel like the band might get lost at any moment. What it reminds me of more than anything is listening to a tight band with decent tunes rehearsed. I don't know if you have ever hung out during a rehearsal, but it's not exactly the most interesting place to be. You get moments of intensity but also a general feeling of going through the motions. It really can't compare to a performance setting. That's the double edged sword of a recording like this. It's pure, but not always compelling.
The songs themselves go back and forth between tedious and interesting. They are all longer than seems necessary, but the basic ideas are sound enough. No blast beats as such, it reminds me a little of latterday Immolation and even a smattering of St. Vitus...perhaps more in performance than actual composition. You can certainly get rolling with the raw power of the songs, but I just kept losing that as the tunes went on and on... And the lyrics are all too legible. Insipid antichristian counter mything. I have no love for theism, but this theme is fucking done already. There are plenty of contemporary themes one could use to decry this mythology without resorting to the pathos of already dead ideas.
As far as musicianship, there is plenty of talent here. One of the good things about the raw production is that all you are hearing ARE the performers, really. No metronomic electrobeats or quippy computer tricks. The band almost slides out of control on a few occasions, and this makes the whole experience more exciting than it could have been. The drummer's fills and riffs never quite careen off the track, always winding up back on course. As a musician type, I can appreciate this and the love it takes to leave it on record. None of these guys are winning any awards, but they all play with fearlessness.
Bottom Line: Some of us metalheads love raw metal. Some of us prefer a heavier-handed production. Some of us love the live feel, others go for studio perfection. This is a death metal record for the raw, live people. If I were to point to a band that pulled it off with more passion and excitement, I would ask you to listen to last year's Verminous album, but this is not a bad record by any means. And my dislike of the subject matter aside, it harkens back to the darker days of death metal thematically. I will listen to it now and then.
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