Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Darkthule - Beyond The Endless Horizons

'Beyond The Endless Horizons' is a very short introduction to the National Socialist methods of this Greek black metal band. I've stated before when reviewing bands with short records, I like long tracks that amount to long records. Why? Because it allows me to get in tune with the band and their intentions. I like to feel my way through a full-length. I like to explore the ways in which it works. To an extent, 'Beyond The Endless Horizons' doesn't allow the listener to do this. It's largely constructed of short and sharp bursts of anger. Darkthule do manage to manage to impress though, despite the fact that they don't leave themselves much time to do so. Thankfully, it has come to my attention that 'Beyond The Endless Horizons' has been re-recorded and a number of new tracks have been added to it. I'll have to find myself a copy at some point in the future. For now, lets focus on the original version

Well, it's actually a fairly standard black metal record. It reminds me of black metal of yesteryear. By that I mean black metal of the early 1990's. It's fairly simplistic and focuses all it's energies in creating an atmosphere so cold that the forefathers of the second wave would be proud to call this their own. Instrumentally, as I said, it's simplistic. The percussion is by far the most simplistic element of Darkthule. Double bass blast beats are pretty much all Darkthule seem to be capable of. The odd use of a cymbal here and there is heard, but for the most part, blast beats are today's special order on the menu. They don't particularly sound original and why would they? They're quick paced blasts. They serve no real purpose if you're attempting to find intricate black metal with lots of changes and innovation. The production can so a tad amateurish at times. That scratchy lo-fi feeling buzzes along in the background. It doesn't help what little bass you can hear, that's for sure.

The guitars are much like the percussion side of things. Simplistic tremolo picking is really all that occurs, but having said that, the fast paced melodies that the tremolo picking creates are enjoyable. 'Beyond The Endless Horizons' is extremely repetitive, but in a sense that's a good thing. Given the fact that this is such a short record, the repetition allows the audience to grasp the music, feel their way around and become accustomed to the style. It's primitive and standard, really. Nothing incredibly special or head turning. You'd need to be in a particularly angry mood to appreciate 'Beyond The Endless Horizons'. It's harsh assault in the form of double bass pedals and melancholic riffs aren't to the liking of everyone. The vocals are of the rasping kind, again, fairly standard. It reminds me of 'Transilvainian Hunger', but with far much exploration done on the melodic side of things. The vocals don't add much depth or a different texture to the atmosphere. They simply exist, but do a competent job of existing for the sake of it.

'Beyond The Endless Horizons' is a record for those of you with your hearts still stuck firmly in 1993/1994. Otherwise, this isn't for you.

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