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Lord Belial: Enter the Moonlight Gate
"Overhyped" is perhaps the best word to describe this album. For starters,
everything in this release simply reeks of Dark Funeral and Dissection. While
definitely admitting to liking the latter, I cannot stand Dark Funeral for the
reason of them being a Marduk clone, their music being nothing but a processed
chunk of cheese, boring arrangements, you name it! Lord Belial are not a
complete loss though... however, their second album is still far from being the
gem that some people tend to think of it as.
First, let's go over the good stuff. The playing on the album is very
professional. Flute is still occasionally used here (but more often it's
replaced by the keyboard boredom), which brings in a welcome change form the
overall predictability of the sound. The female vocals used here are probably
some of the best I've heard on any black metal that I can think of. Sounds like
they have gotten a professional singer instead of dragging in the usual sluts
that bands pick up at sleazy bars. Remember guys: large spikes and naked chicks
that adore you still don't make it grim and blasphemous. The production is
reasonably thick and the guitars aren't just buzzing around. The drumming is
fast and solid, without becoming a self-involved effort as it is the case with
the recent Mayhem material.
Now to the things that I really don't like about this album. Now, I have a
strong suspicion that all the bands on No Fashion are really just side-projects
of the same group of people that are still stuck in the late 80's. How else can
you possibly explain these uncanny similiarities in sound and composition for
that matter? To begin with, Dissection did use a lot of very similar riffs on
"The Somberlain" back in the days. We are all inclined to let it slide when a
band that is involved in this kind of shameless plagiarism is rather excellent.
Marduk were last one that I was still willing to accept in their wholehearted
dedication to the cause. Everybody else, be they an At The Gates, In Flames,
Dissection or Marduk rip-off, will have a grand total of zero of my support.
I guess that most of us are OK with the thought that metal is bound to bite it's
own tail some of the time. We all subscribe to the theory that going back to the
roots will only make us stronger. Yet I feel very uncomfortable about being
involved in a spiral that always gets into a new round when "the next big thing"
breaks out. That's what caused Bay Area thrash, Swedish Death Metal and many
other scenes (let's not point fingers for now) to stagnate and die. Watch it
happen again. In the meantime, if you really want some truly excellent black
metal in your life, get the new Krieg or the new Angelcorpse.
Added: January 1st 2004
Reviewer: SoT Archives
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