Fejd – Trolldom

So originally when I was going to review this I was going to listen to just this album and review it on it’s own without the context of their other albums. This is standard practice for me, as I don’t know every band I review before reviewing them, and I only have so much time in the day to review things that I can’t listen to their whole discog before getting to their current album. However after I finished Trolldom, I couldn’t escape the fact that every possible complaint or even praise mentioned the lament over how Fejd finally “went metal”. Now I still could’ve just ignored that and gone on to review the album anyway, but quite honestly, the only thing I had to say about Trolldom was “it’s nice”. Nothing really profound, just that it was a pleasant listen that I enjoyed but couldn’t really say anything beyond that fact. So I decided that in an effort to have a more meaty review, I would listen to their debut album Storm, just so I get some context.

Unfortunately, despite my added context of where the band is coming from, my opinion stays relatively the same. I agree, they were in fact better when they weren’t a metal band, if only because I feel like they used a bit more of nordic folk influences in their music back then. It sounded a bit more organic than what they have now. However scorewise, that’s a different around .25 – .5 at MOST. The only real thing I can say about Trolldom is that it’s “nice”. And that’s mainly because it really is a gimmick album. You hear track 1, you’ve heard the whole album. Variety is absolutely non existent here, which isn’t exactly too bad as what you get is still really nice folk melodies and some pretty cool heavy metal-like guitar solos, but again that can only take an album so far.

I’ve decided mid reviewing this album that I’ll bump it up to a solid 7, mainly because despite only being just a nice listen (to which I normally give a high 6 for), the concept is pretty unique, and I feel like it’s worth listening to. Just don’t expect something that’ll blow your mind.


7/10

Insane Vesper – Layil

Can an album be generic without being generic? Or rather, can an album simultaneously be nothing more than pretty good, while containing elements of an absolute classic for it’s genre? On the surface, Insane Vesper’s Layil is much like any other modern black metal for it’s time, albeit a decent album in that category. It has all of what you want in a black metal album, however with added aspects that draw the listener in on closer inspection. Some of the drumming patterns sound more like they belong on a post-rock or math rock album, and there’s dissonant, sinister riffs that honestly are part of one of the better attempts at dissonance in black metal that I’ve heard. As well, you got some seemingly random (though not necessarily ineffective) moments of mathy chugging that sounds more like it belongs in a djent album sans guitar tone. However for the most part, this is just decoration that rises a 5/10 record to maybe a high 6/10. Except for a few, very special moments. The very opening of the album on Blood of the Moon opens in a seemingly standard way for a few seconds, only to break apart into a groovy baseline and space rock guitar effects. You then suddenly get this soaring, atmospheric euphoria enveloping your ears that makes you think “hot damn, this is gonna be my fucking jam”. Then silence. The guitar comes back in and there’s this mini buildup with the drums slamming away at increasing fervor, climaxing into these dissonant riffs of purely evil modern black metal. And I’m like “holy fuck how can I get better than this?”. Good question, and the answer is it can’t, because it doesn’t. There are 2 other times during the record (on Sink The Ark of Knowledge and Scorned Ascension) where the music breaks into this dark, post-rock like, 1-2 minute sagas, only to return to whatever the fuck they were doing before, or on the case of Scorned Ascension, just end the track with no resolution. But overall none of what is great about this album is built upon into something more.

Layil is a record that has all the tools to become an all time classic, but never uses them to be anything more than just interesting, or at it’s worst/best, a massive fucking cock-tease.


7/10

Sunless – Sunless (Demo)

I feel like these guys have lots of potential. In the 9 minutes I was able to spend with these lads I saw a band that had a good concept that just needs a bit of direction. They have great tone, good vocals, and good riff structure, but the two tracks didn’t really have a direction. I felt like they were just an aimless clump of riffs, lost in the sea of dissonance. Then again, that’s kinda what a demo is supposed to be, a general glimpse of their sound rather than a full album (that’s why it’s called a demo, not the full game with day one DLC). These guys are like a new born baby. They just need to eat lots of smushed bananas and they’ll be a great band.


7/10

Bestial Deform – …Ad Leones

This is some really solid dissonant death metal. The sort of slamish, atonal riffs are surprisingly memorable, especially the main riff on In Maxillis Bestia. I was really debating whether or not to give this a 6.75 of 7, but I’m settling on a 7 because i feel like despite it being a relativity generic album, and having a few interludel moments that I don’t think were necessary (the intro was not needed, period), it’s overall solid enough and filled with enough great riffs to rise to the ranks of the recommended.


7/10

Slave One – Disclosed Dioptric Principles

Weird as fuck album. It has some amazing riffs and composition, but then always has this random fucking shit that has nothing to do with the music in the slightest. It’ll have like middle eastern chanting, ominous Gregorian drones, african drums, and lots of other weird vocal and guitar effects that just come out of fucking no where to screw with the music. Like this isn’t even a folk album, they just put this shit in there seemingly because they could. It’d be like listening to Beyonce, and then have a 5 second tibetan throat singing interlude. It’s that off putting. I’m gonna give this a 7 anyway because I REALLY love the guitar work and riffage, and while there are some fuck bumps in the music, it’s nothing to completely take you out of the record entirely. Still worth a listen for some quality, if a bit bizzare tech death.


7/10