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Proscriptor: The Venus Bellona

The Venus Bellona is an interesting album with a lot of promise that, sadly, it doesn't really live up to. Part music, part spoken-word storytelling of some sort of Gaelic Battle-Of-Something-Or-Another, it doesn't completely succeed as either.

Proscriptor is short for Proscriptor McGovern, a fellow who takes himself far too seriously; the publicity photo of him standing by a drum and holding a battle axe is laughable. He seems to do almost everything on this album, which contains multiple acoustic guitar parts, tympani and conga drums, and countless electronic sound-manipulators. He also is responsible for the nearly un-listenable vocals during the "storytelling" phases.

There are some very beautiful guitar arrangements here, and some memorable vocal parts, particularly "Lady Day Eve," but they are tarnished by being alternated with screechy, noisy, downright silly interludes that are supposed to place you on a battlefield somewhere in Europe, but end up placing you somewhere that more resembles a grade-school cafeteria.

Listening to The Venus Bellona, and looking at the packaging, I get the distinct, depressing feeling that more time and effort was spent on the artwork and the presentation of the album than on the music. It's as if the music was the last step, a necessary evil that was rushed together in order to make it possible to release the CD.

Oh, and one more thing: according to the liner notes, Proscriptor's spirit has been working on these songs since 1269. Hmm.

Added: January 1st 2004
Reviewer: SoT Archives
Hits: 3349
Language: english

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