I've always known that you should not judge a book by it's cover, but sometimes I do.
Take, for instance, the new release by 13 Candles, Angels of Mourning Silence. As I examined the album, readying myself for a listen, I was certain that I knew what was in store for me: the artwork, the packaging, the ridiculous song titles all added up to assure me that what I was about to hear was another black metal suck band. I was wrong. It's something far worse: a keyboard and drum machine, Pet Shop Boys-wannabe suck band.
The opening track, the instrumental "The Prayer of Eternal Damnation", sounded acceptable enough at first: stock audio clips of chanting choirs played over some thick, overproduced keyboards in a melody that someone obviously thought sounded gothic and clever. But then the spoken word interlude sets in...and I felt a strange sinking feeling wash over me.
The next track, "Join Me In Death", begins with a drum machine beat so tacky, so poorly handled, it sounds like it was produced on a Casio in someone's dorm room. (It probably was.) Then come those vocals again; a deep voice, half talking, half singing, trying to sound tough and imposing but instead just sounding silly.
There aren't any brighter moments to report here, either; the whole album is the same monotonous, ridiculous, laughable pap, with equally laughable titles like "The Hunger Within", "Carpathian Moonrise", and "Death Awaits You (Dracula the Undead)". (I'm constantly reminded, while listening to this stuff, of the recent Saturday Night Live sketch "Goth Talk", in which corpse-painted teens host a public access talk show about...well, gothic stuff. This is the kind of music those characters would absolutely love.)
Spinal Tap, in the act of parody, created far better music than this. Not since Glenn Danzig has rock music been this stupid, this base, this utterly unnecessary.