Friday, March 26, 2010


Incredibly terrible split release from two underground legends. I wonder if Hammer of Hate even thought twice about releasing this; how it escape anyone's idea of "quality control" is beyond me. The sad thing is such small, personalized labels really have little choice once money's been invested. DTL could have turned in a recording of Azgorh taking a shit and it probably would have seen release, just to recoup some costs.
Unfortunately that comparison isn't too far off the mark. Drowning the Light's side is some of worst-recorded music i've ever heard. There's low fidelity and then there's this garbage. It sounds like someone threw a 1985 Tascam open air recorder in a cardboard box, filled it with mud and then placed it outside of the practice space with a few blankets over it while the band ripped through five songs. It's a fucking embarrassment and no amount of weak whining about holding true to old school black metal ethos could possibly justify releasing a recording that sounded this bad. Vlad Tepes had some bad sound, yes, but never this inaudible and the songs were so good that you quickly got past the lower sound quality. DTL's five songs here aren't awful (in fact, this is a more consistent release composition-wise than some previous works) but they're so poorly captured that they're more or less unlistenable. It comes off like the work of meager amateurs rather than the fruit of well-versed black metal historians. There's no shortage of huge melodic riffs here but the whole affair is so tinny and awash in room noise and unwanted reverb that it sinks into a rancid pit of worthlessness.
Evil's side fares a little better in the sound department but not much better anywhere else. For Evil (which is a terrible name) black metal begins with Burzum's first album and ends with Darkthrone's "Transylvanian Hunger"; too bad the impeccable awesomeness of those two records doesn't manifest itself anywhere in Evil's delivery. Again, the amateurish quality of the band is shocking. These guys have a discography only slightly less vast than DTL's and have been together for almost two decades; by this point in time they should be playing together as a seamless unit. Instead they sound like two nobodies who met a few months ago and decided to start as "true" a black metal band as they could. The drummer deserves special attention for his inability to keep up with the pace of the songs; too many times throughout these tracks they just fall apart into loopy ill-timed gallops until the drummer finds the pace again. It's jarring and a little pathetic and bogs all of the material down. The only track that held even a spark of interest for me was "Wolf's Blood," whose main riff is very reminiscent of Urfaust (never a bad thing) and almost hypnotic. It's followed by a second riff as cliched and obvious as the first one was cool, though, so the song goes out on a sour note.
I really expected more from both bands, and it's been awhile since i've been this disgusted by any record i've listened too. A totally inessential release.

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