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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
Hits: 3177
Language: english

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