originally written by Jim Brandon
There’s something to be said for bands that form quickly, produce a limited but decent amount of music, then vanish. I think many of us have a favorite when it comes to projects who some consider to have faced an untimely demise, whether it’s due to the boredom of the band members, internal conflict, needing to get real jobs, or whatever. When it comes to black metal, Black Crucifixion is one of many such acts, and from what friends of mine have told me about their music, Faustian Dream is a bit of a departure. I can’t imagine what it must have sounded like before.
There have been albums released by Celtic Frost, Fields Of The Nephilim, and Tenebre this year, and before you go whimpering about the differences in those groups, the three of them together with this disc could provide a very satisfying listen if you like things on the moodier, doomier side. Even without a vast back-history of knowledge about Black Crucifixion, it’s easy to tell the members were entirely bored with utilizing black metal as an expression of art. The music sounds cinematic and dramatic, almost in a cathartic way, as if the group was shedding a skin in the process of transforming itself into a totally different entity. It sounds both somber, preoccupied, and joyous, like the musicians welcomed the change, but were also uncertain about the future.
The vocals delve into Sisters Of Mercy/ Type O Negative territory, and also expand upon a generous helping of Into The Pandemonium’s “Mesmerized” influence, a little too much actually. It disappointed me to hear so much Celtic Frost moaning forth on this album, and it was surprising to hear how reserved this disc turned out. There’s not much contrast or many instances of dynamic songwriting to be heard (which is fine), although there definitely is a somber, effective mood set during the album. It doesn’t sound too goth, or too self-absorbed, but the lighter moments of the disc are really light. While there is a certain amount of ambience involved, overall, the artsy songwriting is smoothly accessible, unthreatening and easy to follow along with. “Bible Black Tyrant” ends with a bit of a crunch, and the multi-textured vocals on “Wrath Without Hate” do help break things up a bit, but other than that, I wouldn’t call anyone’s Lily Munster wannabe mother just to tell them how good this album is.
I’m curious to know if any of these guys are currently involved in other projects, because hearing this raises a bit of interest to see if their talents are being used elsewhere in the music world. As for Faustian Dream, I wouldn’t call it essential unless you wish to collect everything Black Crucifixion ever done, and unless you’re a fan of this moody, pensive style of metal, you probably shouldn’t break a leg trying to find it.