Monday, June 27, 2011

FUNERAL FORNICATION “Pandemic Transgression”

Full-length – Hypnotic Dirge Records
July 29th, 2011

DSBM has always had a limited niche appeal. While some acts can stand out, often times we are met with a bedroom black metal that isn’t well written, and doesn’t bring anything interesting to the table. While there isn’t as many artists in the genre as others it’s still hard to browse a list of artists and find a decent number of acts worth checking out. Canada’s Funeral Fornication, while not really bringing much else to the table, actually shows competence in the solo artist’s writing abilities, and has acceptable production quality which is more than enough to at least give it a try.

Not including a handful of demos, Pandemic Transgression is FF’s fourth major release, and while staying true to the depressive style established recently, more melodic passages are influenced while the timbre is as strong as ever.

Unfortunately, while there is a slight style shift, the same issue I’ve had in the past with the act still exists; things are rather stagnant. The atmosphere is great and fits the genre to a tee, but I wasn’t surprised by anything on the album, and I could predict where it was going to take me. The lyrical content appears to be generic for the genre, but I do not put much emphasis on it in my reviews. However, the execution of what is on this album is strong enough to mostly save it from the negative aspects.

To conclude, this album definitely does not stand out from the bunch. However if you are a devout black metal freak, it is well worth the pick-up.


Reviewed by; Matt Coughlin

EKOVE EFRITS “Conceptual Horizon”

– Hypnotic Dirge Records
July 29th, 2011.

It really amazes me how far and wide heavy metal music has gone over the past few decades. We are truly experiencing a global phenomenon even if it often lurks in the shadows of what is the mainstream. Whether it be the more successful styles or underground chances are it has found a place in almost every country in the world, even beyond western development. In fact many non-European nations are home to various hidden gems whether they are situated in South America or Southeast Asia.

One such region that while limited in quantity of bands but makes up for it with a nice ratio of quality, relatively speaking, is the Middle East. While the more popular bands of this area are likely to throw in the folk music of their indigenous areas to add flavor and stick out among the crowd, others keep the styles traditional and execute it well. From within this scene comes a nice black metal solo project hailing from Iran; Ekove Efrits. Throwing in a dark symphonic influence and more melancholic passages than your old school acts, yet still staying true to the genre, here is an act worth looking out for as I see only good things to come.

Conceptual Horizon, the act’s forthcoming release, offers an accessible but well executed musical passage that melts beauty and lamentation into an intricate and emotional journey. Each track is complemented by rich symphonic passages and down-tempo guitar work, which makes for a very melody driven release. Ambient passages are also to be found throughout which both are nature inspired and more technical other times. The only two complaints I could really have is that the clean vocals could be better performed, though they are still not bad. The other complaint is while each track is beautifully orchestrated, the listener isn’t given much variety here, save for a few tracks. While it is good that the general mood of the release is consistent, I feel experimenting with song structure could benefit Ekove in the long run. My favorite track of the release would have to be “A Celebration for Sorrow,” the acoustic guitar fuses nicely with the synth ambience, and reminds me a lot of Blut Aus Nord’s more transcendental works, before it goes into doom inspired symphonic black metal passages along with more well written ambience, which seems to be Count De Efrit’s strong suit. Overall this album just falls short of being an obscure classic, but it is well worth purchasing, as well as being one of Hypnotic Dirge’s best releases thus far.

Reviewed by; Matt Coughlin