Originally written by Erik Thomas
Do people really like this band? Is there really a large demand for this? I mean I’m no huge fan of any of the multitude of the Killjoy/Frediablo side projects and second rate bands, but this one seems even less necessary than any of the others. A sort of soundtrack-esque horror metal, that’s part grimy Autopsy slime and part Romero/Fulci movie score, and none of it particularly good. A good part of this sparse five track EP is spent exploring instrumental crevices of ambient noise and sampling, stark keyboards, ‘oooooo-eeeeeeeee-oooooooo’ styled Halloween CD sound FX, and hokey horror flick voice overs. The rare death metal part is mediocre at best, treading the same psychotic drawn out crawling death metal as The Ravenous, Abscess and the afore mentioned Autopsy, but not even close quality wise.
In fact, my neighborhood Halloween gathering has more ghoulish atmosphere than this lame offering from a talented core of musicians. I imagine they were certainly not aiming for death metal fan base, as their largely instrumental offerings show, but to be frank, the death metal parts are rudimentary to say the least. That coupled with no doubt intentional B-move synth work and voice dubs just makes for one of the flattest, dreariest listens I have had in a while. Those lured by the offending party’s other projects (Grimfist, Wurdulak, Gorelord) hoping for something similar will be sorely disappointed.
Three of the EP’s five tracks are instrumental with some sort of whispering or spoken word setting the tone for I imagine some thinly veiled horror based concept. “To Sleep with the Dead”, is a terrible “ballad”, of sorts. “Goblins be Thine” is a pointless menagerie of FX and discordant noise, while the nameless album closer is a chaotic mix of horror movie samples and instrumentation.
The only death metal interlude is the later (after a drawn out intro) of album opener “Young Burial”, the eventual death metal that surfaces in the eleven minute “The Fog”. “Sadako’s Curse” (based on The Ring) is the EP’s only highlight as a suitably oozing, haunting and liquid track. I can’t compare this EP to the band’s considerable discography, but as with The Divine Art of Torture there’s no Phil Anselmo – so take that as you will, but Iscariah’s (Immortal) and Mirai Kawashima’s (Sigh) involvement should have made this a stellar, all star effort that exudes horrific ambience rather than rely on namesakes to promote itself, as musically and atmospherically this falls way short. I may be completely missing the point of this, but even fans of classic horror flicks will find the contents of their own underpants more terrifying than this.